Shopping Centre

Park Mark for Bluewater

Published:  02 April, 2008

All eight cars parks at Bluewater shopping centre in Kent are to receive Park Mark accreditation from the British Parking Association for their high safety standards.

The accreditation follows an extremely rigorous inspection in February by the Safer Parking Scheme and Kent Police. They spent four hours examining every aspect of the centre's car parking, which is operated and managed by Vita Lend Lease.

There is parking for 13,000 cars at Bluewater and in 2007 over 8.5 million cars used the colour-coded car parks. Recent improvements introduced by Vita Lend Lease include almost 12,000 new lamps that provide 15 per cent more light but use significantly less energy. Colour coding has also been introduced on walkways to help visitors find their way back to their cars, with bollards installed along the walkway edges to deter unauthorised parking.

One innovation that particularly impressed Park Mark's auditors was the use of the RetailFusion Facilities Management System, which provides real time data showing the progress of the mobile patrols which Vita Lend Lease's external hosts deliver, enabling them to respond quickly to any problems car park users might be experiencing. These highly visible teams also ensure the car parks are a safe and secure environment, evidenced by the police data showing a 53 per cent fall in vehicle- and parking-related crime, giving Bluewater results massively below the national average.

Paul Birkett, Vita Lend Lease FM operations manager at Bluewater, said: "Park Mark accreditation reflects all the hard work that's been done over the past year by our very dedicated team.

"They have made the car parks cleaner, safer and more user friendly for everyone and this ensures that the guest experience is a positive one, even before they enter the centre."