Saturday, 7 December 2013

Do ParkingEye stand on the shoulders of giants?

No, but their victims certainly need to.

Here is the entrance sign at Aldi, Leyland. For some obscure* reason it has been sited 9 feet, six inches in the air. No other sign in the car park is sited as high. No doubt it is there for the benefit of the stilt-walking giants which are so common in Leyland.

The British Parking Association code of practice does not specify a recommended height for entrance signage, and ParkingEye are more than happy to take advantage of that oversight. Here is a picture of an entrance sign at McDonald's Bridgend, conveniently sited at the bottom of the pole, behind a bush**.

The British Parking Association have confirmed they are more than happy for ParkingEye to hide signs behind bushes.
"The operator has also provided us with the signage at this location and we do not believe this is in breach of our Code of Practice.
In view of the above, we have closed the investigation."
The Prankster fully agrees with the BPA's investigative techniques, which are apparently only to rely on evidence provided by the operator and not to consider the motorists evidence or to gather their own. The Prankster fully understands that it would cost too much to investigate complaints properly.

However, he would like to point out that the Department of Transport recommendation for sign height is as follows:
(iii) Mounting heights
1.49 Where possible the lower edge of the sign should be between 900mm (2ft 11 inches) and 1500mm (4ft 11 inches) above the highest point of the carriageway alongside. The higher mounting should be used where excessive spray is likely to soil the signs. In built up areas signs may have to be higher for various reasons where they are erected on footways and transverse to them they must obviously allow sufficient clearance for pedestrians: 2100mm is the absolute
minimum recommended but 2300mm is preferable.
This height range of approximately 3-5 feet allows the sign to be read from a moving vehicle without requiring the driver to simultaneously open the sun roof and jump up and down.

Meanwhile, back at Leyland, although the height of the sign above ground meets the BPA's non-existing regulations, other aspects do not. For car park's sited off 30 mph roads, the font size should be 6 centimetres.

The sign is woefully short of this requirement. Here we see that the font size is only 1.8 centimetres, or less than a third of the permitted standard.

The sign should also follow this general design principle.

As is apparent, there are a few areas where ParkingEye's sign does not quite comply.

Lastly, there is a second entrance sign on the other side of the entrance which is larger and has a bigger font. It is however, not visible to cars entering by turning right, and of course it is completely non-compliant with the design principles mandated for entrance signage.

There are no signs at all in the parking areas at the front of the store.

This therefore creates several entrapment zones in the car park.

The orange blobs are the entrance signs. The yellow blobs are the normal signs. The blue ovals are the entrapment zones.

There is a big entrapment zone at the front of the store where disabled drivers park. The BPA recommend special low signs near disabled parking spaces. In contract, ParkingEye provide no signage at all. Drivers with disabilities are more likely to need longer to shop, so this is an especially cruel trap.

There is a smaller entrapment zone above this, where the left hand side has no signage.

For both these areas the only visible signs you pass are the entrance signs.

There is another entrapment zone below this. Here, you do pass one extra sign.

A video showing the lack of signage is available here.

Happy Parking

The Parking Prankster

* The Prankster does not wish to imply that this sign is obscured.
**This sign clearly is obscured though

The Prankster would like thank the person who tipped him off about this car park.


  1. Its high time PE and the BPA was closed down and publicy flogged.

  2. Be careful what you say, they will think you are in cahoots and screenshot this page and print it out ;)

  3. Not surprised in the slightest. The bpa is perfect bitch

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. yes, this is true that it is not visible to cars entering by turning right, and of course it is completely non-compliant with the design principles mandated for entrance signage. meet & greet at gatwick can proves to be very well in this regard.

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