Parkex conference takes centre stage - Alison Tooze

As the main event in the parking calendar, the return of Parkex is eagerly anticipated by all across the parking sector. At its centre will be the Parkex Hub featuring an impressive line-up of speakers across the three days. Alison Tooze, the BPA head of policy and public affairs, has been putting together the Hub's conference programme:

“The focus on day one is to cover all the pertinent issues. It's a combination of horizon-scanning and taking stock of what has changed,” explains Alison. “The first session looks at key challenges, changes in demand and behaviours, and the external influences - such as the way people travel and emissions reductions - that are going to drive us for next few years."

This is followed by addressing their impacts and solutions, such as active travel schemes and also parking's role in ridding our communities of nuisance vehicles. Demand management is explored during a session on road-user charging. It's really interesting to see how road charging may influence and drive parking policy in response to it," says Tooze.

There are also sessions on important safety and wellbeing issues, such as fire risk in multi-storey car parks and preventing suicide in car parks.

Day two considers private and public sector needs - the focus for the Hub in the morning, is on the Parking Code of Practice and the regulatory changes affecting the private parking sector.

“There are two sessions during the morning: one is focused on the impact of the new Code and some legal perspectives,” says Tooze. “The other will have a really diverse panel who'll be getting together to talk about all aspects of what the Parking Code of Practice means to the sector.”

At the same time, local authority members are invited to a special Local Authority Summit, which will discuss the regulatory changes they are facing, as well as giving them the chance to connect with key stakeholders and peers from across the UK.

“We want to give our local authority members the opportunity to come together to collaborate on areas of interest and to present, discuss and debate some of the most important aspects of the work that they do,” explains Tooze.

The afternoon brings both private and public sectors back together with sessions including the importance of data in improving customer experience and parking's role in electric vehicle (EV) charging. “This session will look at the fundamentals of our role in the EV fuelling sphere - should we be a primary EV charging source or not? This is a chance to try to take ownership of the issue and explore our place in it,” says Tooze.

“Day three focuses on the most important asset we have - people. How do we attract people from all backgrounds, genders, and ages into parking, and how do we retain them and provide opportunities for them to progress? The hugely important issue of officer welfare will also be discussed. The title of this session is ‘It's not just part of the job’ and that really highlights that we need to move on from abuse being accepted as part and parcel of a role.”

View the full PARKEX CONFERENCE timetable.

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