05 May 2020

WPS continues to support essential workers in critical sectors

WPS continues to support essential workers in critical sectors image

WPS, the award-winning parking solutions provider, is continuing to deliver essential maintenance and installation work for customers within key sectors such as healthcare and utilities to ensure 24-hour availability of essential parking infrastructure.

Simon Jarvis, Managing Director of WPS in the UK, says that while some other parking system providers have ceased operations, WPS is working with clients on a case-by-case basis: “Where our support is needed, and when appropriate planning and safety measures are in place, we are continuing to work with our clients to keep their infrastructure efficiently operational,” he says.

“As well as social distancing and providing PPE equipment, we are cordoning off working areas, and putting up signage as appropriate to inform the public why we are there. For more involved works, we are also providing welfare stations meaning engineers have their own separate washing and toilet facilities,” he explains.

Erik Dijkshoorn, CEO of WPS Group, stresses that different clients across the world are taking a varied approach to the current crisis, and ‘one size fits all’ doesn’t apply: “There is a wide diversity of opinion amongst our clients as to how they can best support local priorities and we can support them in achieving this,” Erik explains, “and there is no ‘right or wrong’ way of managing our way through the current crisis.

“It is our job to be as agile and flexible as possible, and I am immensely proud of how our field teams have worked safely and gone above and beyond to ensure our customers’ needs are properly and carefully supported through this genuinely uncharted time.”

The range of car parks that are operational is varied. In the UK, while some shopping centre car parks have closed, others remain open to accommodate supermarket shoppers. There are town centre car parks that have opened their barriers while others are keeping their barriers down to both help discourage people from coming into town, and to ensure there are ample spaces available for the people that genuinely need them. Different hospitals are also having to meet the challenges of parking at this time in diverse ways according to their location and situation.

“Hospital car parks are of course critical because NHS staff need to be able to park close to their work and patients also need to be able to depend on the same infrastructure.” adds Simon. “It is an extremely stressful time for both groups and it is important that parking provision is not compromised and does not add to their anxieties.”

To further support key worker parking provision, WPS is working with JustPark which has collaborated with other members of the British Parking Association to launch www.nhs-freeparking.co.uk and help NHS staff and critical care workers find free parking nationwide. Using the integration capabilities recently recognised with a 2020 Parking Technology Award, JustPark and WPS are working together with WPS customers’ sites that use ANPR technology.

“By collating key worker car number plates and integrating those into the systems of ANPR-equipped car parks, we can provide a system where barriers automatically open to allow key workers to park for free.”

“It’s not business as usual,” says Simon. “But we are doing a significant amount of usual business to support customers who need us.”

The power of local systems to save lives image

The power of local systems to save lives

Councils and their partners could do even more to contain the spread of COVID-19 if properly funded to undertake a robust localised system of testing, tracking and tracing, argues Professor Donna Hall.
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