Swarco solves campus parking mystery

22/05/2020
Dominic Browne

Swarco Traffic has installed a parking and management system for Warwick University to support development plans for the campus that could see the student population grow by as much as 40% by 2030.

As part of the five-year plan, the university needed to upgrade its transport systems and in particular, improve parking facilities and management after identifying inefficiencies in its existing processes and strategy.

A key problem was co-ordinating traffic flow management - drivers were struggling to find available parking spaces, 'causing unwanted congestion and a somewhat chaotic parking experience, especially during peak times'.

Swarco said it quickly identified that a lack of parking spaces was not the problem; the challenge was in identifying where parking was available and specifically signposting spaces that were vacant.

It took 'a holistic approach', using both hardware and management software and a combination of different sign types to perform different functions.

Parking guidance signs have been installed across the campus to display clear space availability arrows, featuring the number of free spaces in green or displaying ‘full’ in red.

These are combined with colour variable messaging signs (VMS), which can provide parking and traffic flow information, site-wide safety announcements and to tell drivers and visitors of any events, maintenance works or road closures.

Real-time data is sent to the signs by a series of car park counters and inductive loops that record all vehicles entering and exiting a car park. 

The entire site is managed by a single hosted solution, Swarco's Zephyr, and the web-based user interface enables users to edit messages and pictogram displays as well as being able to upload new text and graphics as required.

The platform can be used to access data on traffic, speeds and volumes as well as set timetables, on/off times and provide key information such as power monitoring, LED monitoring and radar monitoring.

Parvez Islam, director of transport and future mobility at Warwick University, said: 'The implementation of Swarco’s parking management solution has enabled the university to get a better understanding of how parking behaviour operates across campus. It has also highlighted that capacity is not the issue going forward for the University and the focus needs to be more on efficiently managing traffic flows that we hope to achieve by further evolving SWARCO’s system.'

Tony Gillings, project manager at SWARCO Traffic, said: 'Working in close partnership with the University, we have delivered a complete smart parking solution and management system that has created a more coordinated and improved experience for drivers across the entire campus.'

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