CASE STUDY – Parking Study, Worthing Borough Council

CASE STUDY – Parking Study, Worthing Borough Council

Project Centre was commissioned by Worthing Borough Council (WBC) to conduct a study of car parks in Worthing Town Centre.  We were asked to assess the current and future demand and how it can be rationalised, re-provided or managed. Worthing Town Centre is served by 18 off-street car parks, including four large multi storey car parks (MSCP) providing c.1,600 spaces and five surface car parks (SCPs) providing c. 480 spaces.  However, there is an aspiration to use some of the car parks for development, and one of the four MSCPs has now closed since the project inception.

Project Centre was tasked to explore the extent of parking shortfall (if any) after car park redevelopment, and whether parking could be accommodated on existing or alternative sites using different management or operational approaches. The aim of the study was to inform WBC decisions about the amount of parking required to serve the Town Centre needs, and the impact of the loss of parking associated with car park redevelopment.

The key tasks in the study were:

  • Assessment of the current car parking capacity and demand over time
  • As assessment of the potential future demand up to 2033 and likely level of under / over supply within the town
  • An assessment and presentation of the options to provide additional capacity as required
  • Assessment and presentation of how additional capacity could be provided, such as expansion, decking, on street parking or new sites, park and ride, expansion or sharing of private car parks, including high level cost estimates and identification of constraints
  • Other options to optimise the use of available car park resource such as pricing policy, long / short stay mix, shared use, marketing, promotion, management and wayfinding to encourage the use of the most suitable car parks for specific purposes, including high level cost estimates
  • Consideration of alternative approaches to manage and reduce overall car park demand without negatively impacting on the economic performance of the town centre, including examples of car parking approaches form other similar sized towns

We consulted key stakeholders as part of the preliminary scoping for this parking review. The project team met with a representative at West Sussex County Council (WSCC) to discuss strategic transport and parking and the potential plans for Worthing.  We also engaged with colleagues at NSL, responsible for parking enforcement in the town.

These discussions allowed us to access key information for future plans for the town relating to parking, such as plans for a review of parking standards, potential changes to on-street parking tariffs and options to be explored for delivering additional parking capacity.  The early engagement exercise provided us with valuable context and insights to inform the study going forwards.

Key to delivering the project was undertaking large scale analysis of ticket sales data to assess the existing demand for car parks in the Town Centre.  A key challenge was differing data formats between MSCP and SCP data, due to different ticketing methods (barrier controlled vs. Pay and Display). The team developed Macros in Excel to analyse the large amounts of data in a time-efficient way.  The data outputs then fed into a final Parking Demand and Capacity model, which formed one of the final deliverables for the project.

We delivered a report summarising the results of the work and analysis conducted.  The report detailed the existing capacity and nature of use of the car parks in the town.  Future demand was estimated, informed by estimations of future development and demand from sites to be included in the new Worthing Local Plan.

Daily profiles were created for both the existing and future parking levels and these were combined in order to undertake impact assessments of future development scenarios for the Town Centre.

The future scenarios were fed into the Parking Demand and Capacity model, and results were presented within the final report.  The parking calculator tool is flexible in that further parking scenarios can be tested by WBC if required. The final deliverables for WBC were the Parking Demand and Capacity model and report of results and recommendations.

The Excel Parking Demand and Capacity model tool provided quick outputs of various assessment scenarios which fed into the final report.  However, it was designed for continued use by WBC to enable them to assess future development proposals in terms of parking supply and demand.  The tool enabled the user to assess supply and demand by hour of the day, day of the week and month.

This tool was bespoke to WBC’s requirements, however similar principles and elements of the tool can be tailored and fed into new products developed for any future clients’ needs. The report also included recommendations for future parking demand management, with suggestions for new technological innovations to assist in demand management and maximising operational efficiency.  Suggestions included; parking bay sensors feeding into real-time information, such as variable message signing and phone apps.