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Makers Projects showcased at Car Parks 24!

Car Park 2024 LogoThursday the 14th March saw the Car Parks 2024 held at 15 Hatfields, London. Attended by the who’s who of the parking fraternity the day was organised by Landor LINKS who created a program of Hot Topics supported by Stripe and formed the expert panel along with other experts.

Topics were presented representing current trends in parking then explored further with questions directed from the audience to the selected expert panel. Key themes covered a multitude of discussions from car park design, fire safety, the selection and design process to renovation and refurbishment.

A strong focus questioned the suitability of existing car parks particularly with ageing stock their existing footprint and parking bay footprint given that cars have exponentially increased in both volume and weight rapidly over the last 20 years particularly with the advent of the electric car and SUV’s.

Discussions at Car Parks 2024Experts involved in the re- writing of the Institute of Structural Engineers new edition of the Car Park Design manual were on hand to discuss the theory and changes from the last edition and direct the audience to critical areas, particularly the increase in design load, the movement of vehicles within the car park with particular emphasis on flow rates of ingress and egress, and the bigger question of EV’s and charging.

Many local Authorities are attempting to discourage the use of the car particularly with the desire to engage with public transport and the creation of pedestrian areas which in turn is creating a bigger pressure on car park operators to be innovative to stay ahead of the curve with their current asset or in particular the designing of a new one. Last Mile delivery and the introduction of micro transportation is rapidly becoming part of the equation and that it appears that new design has to cater for more than just parking, however the fundamental function of a car park is in essence to park cars.

GraphLocation, location, location continues to be the dominant factor with the General Public willing to travel to park where the “surrounding offer” outside the parking arena is attractive, or convenient, whilst there is a move for car parks to become transport hubs and offer much more than parking, the desire is to park and visit, not visit and go!

Carbon neutral has begun to underpin the conversation in relation to new development and from models shown to the delegates, the economic loss with costs from demolition and rebuilding indicated that significant price increases would be necessary to match the income generated from a renovated car park, this being as the status quo where developments will be questioned in the future as to the carbon effect and penalties charged for increases in carbon footprint. Developments will be asked to consider modernisation as well as demolition going forward.

Podium Basement MSCP Stairwell entranceDelegates were presented with two of Makers renovation projects presented by Polly Church of Potter Church and Holmes Architects responsible for the design the renovation of the Podium Car park in Bath, and Dave Bewley of Corrosion Protection Technologies (CPT) for the Preston bus Station MSCP renovation of Grade II Listed structure, both examples won Best Refurbishment projects awarded by the British Parking Assoc. Podium winning its award in 2023.

The Podium Bath was located within a UNESCO world Heritage site and demolition was not possible for a number of reasons but demonstrated what could be achieved by a sensitive and light touch, taking lead from surrounding areas and dealing with the modern demands of the current motorist and investor.

Preston Bus Station Multi Storey Car ParkDave Bewley of CPT took the delegates through the renovation of the Preston Bus Station another award-winning Makers renovation, known for its Brutalist Architecture has been christened the Grey Battleship of car parks due to its huge scale and dominant position in the heart of Preston Town Centre. This iconic landmark became a battle ground for demolition or restoration but due to its listing this 1960’s car park required its fabric to be saved using advancements in corrosion technology and provide a robust renovation scheme to keep it safe and operational.

As with all schemes their success depends on the veracity of the testing regime, correct diagnosis and repair design which were the foundation stones of this scheme. For more information about both schemes please visit

Basildon Car Park Wide BaysAs the meeting drew to a close there was a chance to network but not before the conversation of parking pricing per space, by weight, by emissions was floated and the credible argument to increase available parking bays by reducing capacity and placing two vehicles in previous areas occupied by 3. Some may consider this revolutionary and counterproductive to space availability but Makers introduced this back in 2010 with the “Essex Wide Bays “following the refurbishment of the MSCP in Basildon to a fanfare of success encouraging a car park that was 60% under utilised to near full capacity and become the car park of choice.

New technology now has the ability to provide operators with the ability to use information technology to introduce sophisticated parking tariffs that can distinguish between vehicle types allowing for filter parking and space allocation determining both price and duration.

“It’s been a long time since I attended or even exhibited at a Parking Event and it was nice to see so many familiar faces continuing to be successful, with the rapid changes in car design and fire regulations it will be a challenge for the industry to keep pace and will require some forward thinking by all involved… the day provided an insight of the challenges facing industry…”

Simon Lamb, MD

Makers would like to extend their thanks to Polly Church for her kind invitation and to those contributors who made it a very informative day. Makers are experienced in the field of car park refurbishment and have received and number of awards for over many years and we offer a number of services and would welcome any opportunity to discuss any upcoming project you may have. For further information please contact

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