Albert Dock is a historic waterfront complex located in Liverpool, and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city. It is known for its rich maritime heritage, stunning architecture, and vibrant cultural scene.
In line with the objective of enhancing visitor experiences from the very start – that is, the vehicle access - HUB Parking Technology successfully proposed an innovative solution to replace the previous pay-on-foot system employed at the site. After careful evaluation, HUB presented a forward-looking approach, incorporating a hybrid solution that integrates license plate recognition technology.
Albert Dock is situated on the eastern side of the city’s central business district and is a historically significant conservation area with the largest group of grade one listed buildings in the UK. Constructed between 1841 and 1846, today it has been transformed into a vibrant cultural and leisure destination. With an annual influx of over 6 million visitors and increasing popularity, the Albert Dock consistently operates at maximum capacity, necessitating the implementation of a fast and efficient parking management system to accommodate the growing number of vehicles. Catering primarily to day-trippers, ensuring ease of use was of paramount importance.
HUB UK deployed the best in smart parking technology through a hybrid system that allows multiple ways of entering and exiting the site, and different processes to pay. Customers have the choice to obtain a ticket and make payment using a card at the automated pay station. Alternatively, they can utilize the LPR (License Plate Recognition) system and settle the payment at the exit station. Moreover, the car park is equipped with electric charging stations to accommodate electric vehicles.
The customer enters the car park entry lane and passes over a “presence” vehicle detection loop. The entry station screen will light up and show their registration number, the station will record a time and date of entry and vehicle registration number from the LPR camera and the barrier arm will automatically raise to allow entry to the car park. If the LPR camera should fail to read the number plate, the machine will show a button to push for a ticket. The vehicle will pass over a second vehicle detection loop, which will automatically lower the barrier following safe passage into the car park. Real-time parking data relevant to in-lane operations are available to the Albert Dock parking staff.
One notable enhancement in the facility optimization is the incorporation of a slim island housing the exit and entry stations. This innovative design element not only adds a touch of modernity to the car park but also facilitates convenient access for drivers. The streamlined island configuration enables a smoother flow of traffic, reducing congestion, and optimizing the overall parking experience.
Payment at the Automatic Pay Station – The customer will scan their ticket at the pay machine scanner and the fee will automatically be displayed on the display screen. This can then be paid with debit/credit card at the contactless Chip & PIN payment terminal. A receipt can be requested following payment.
Exit from the car park – The exit station will include a contactless CHIP & Pin terminal allowing payment to be made at the exit, the customer will enter the exit lane and pass over a “presence” vehicle detection loop, which will activate the exit station. The LPR camera will read the vehicle registration number and the fee will automatically be displayed on the display screen. The customer will need to ’tap’ their debit/credit card on the card reader and the Exit Lane Station will display the fee on the screen, the customer will make payment using their card via the contactless card reader and when payment is completed, the barrier will automatically raise to allow exit and as the vehicle passes over a second loop, the barrier will automatically lower following safe passage of the vehicle.
The success of the parking access control solution implemented in the initial two car parks has paved the way for its expansion to a third parking site. Building upon the positive outcomes, the decision has been made to introduce the solution to the new location.
By implementing the new automated parking technology, the car park has undergone a significant revitalisation, aligning with modern standards of efficiency and aesthetics: a shining example of how innovative solutions can transform traditional processes and contribute to the success of iconic destinations like Albert Dock.
Sean Morrison, Estate Manager Royal Albert Dock Liverpool declares:“ Providing exceptional service to our customers is a high priority. With the seamless implementation of the new parking system, our users now relish a user-friendly, hassle-free parking experience, reflecting our commitment to excellence.”