| As lockdown restrictions begin to lift, Q-Park have launched several initiatives to make sure parking is safe and affordable for people returning to work.
Q-Park supports ‘Zero-emission mobility for all’
In 2020, the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK theme is ‘Zero-emission mobility for all’. Q-Park supports and actively contributes to a carbon-neutral and inclusive urban environment.
Cars have given people independence and the freedom to travel. Sometimes for pleasure, but mainly to travel to work, to take children to their schools and activities, and to go shopping.
Being able to drive – and having a car readily available – is part of what makes people mobile and enables them to participate in social and economic life.
It’s a fact: cars are the number one source of mobility in our modern civilisation, and they are the most flexible form of transport we have. However, the downside is: cars are responsible for about 12% of total EU carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the main greenhouse gas.
Car manufacturers have succeeded in reducing emissions from new passenger cars significantly over the past few years (2010 - 140.3 gCO2/km, 2015 - 119.5 gCO2/km and the 2020 target is set at 95 gCO2/km). Supporting the usability and thus growth of carbon-neutral electric vehicles just makes a lot of sense.
To support electric vehicle use, Q-Park has an EV Charging Programme in place. We are constantly installing additional EV charging points (slow & fast) in our parking facilities, making best use of renewable energy and the electricity grid capacity available.
We currently have 1,018 EV charging points in our portfolio.
The number of cars in Europe continues to increase and our economy is centred around the car. What’s more, cars are an important source of revenue for governments. But collectively, we also want to improve our urban environment and health and safety for society in general. People want to visit cities and enjoy cultural and leisure amenities, but at the same time they want to have clean and open squares as well as green parks where they can relax and where children can play safely.
Our aim is to devote more public space to pedestrians and cyclists and less to cars. We want public funds to be spent on ... the public, on a healthier and more inclusive society. Because cities should be organised for people, not for cars.
And that's where Q-Park comes in. We understand how to calculate and build the right parking capacity – preferably underground or at city ring roads. And Q-Park actively invests in car parks with private funds. To help reduce search traffic, our websites inform motorists of their options for parking. We have a variety of economic online offers that enable customers to make informed decisions on mobility.
As a socially responsible partner, Q-Park also wants to decrease the number of cars travelling into inner cities and thus decrease emissions. We also want to increase safe and active mobility (walking & cycling) and create space for people. We too like to help keep cities economically viable and have public funds spent on bettering society – not facilitating cars.
Not only do we have underground car parks with EV charging points and LED lighting, we offer bicycle parking for businesses.
Logistics services are another concern to cities. Commercial vehicles move around at all hours – increasing emissions and congestion. Offering a solution for emission-free last mile delivery would seriously help our shared goal towards a sustainable urban environment. Parking facilities may prove to be an ally in tackling this challenge. For example, we offer lockers and parcel walls, we have pick-up points in place and refrigerated areas for groceries and perishable goods – a service used by restaurant suppliers.
But most importantly, parking facilities should enable a quick and comfortable switch from a car to public transport, a bicycle or a nice walk.
Mobility for all is not just about zero-emissions. It is also about inclusivity – ensuring that city amenities are accessible for a person in a wheelchair is not enough. Providing dedicated and wide parking spaces near exits and elevators makes their lives a bit more comfortable and cities a bit more accessible.
Access for families with children in strollers or people with walkers makes common sense too. Providing nearby, clean and safe parking just helps make a city more inclusive as not everyone is as comfortable in public transport, walking or cycling as they are in their personally equipped car or other means of getting out and about.
Working from home to reduce the spread of the coronavirus reduces congestion and pollution too. Yet having access to an office workspace and colleagues also has its advantages. Q-Park’s special Flexi Season Tickets allow businesses and commuters to be flexible with their work-home-life balance.
Decreasing congestion and pollution as much as possible while still being able to interact with colleagues when it makes sense to do so in a safe way.
It goes without saying that we seek to move towards zero net energy (ZNE), not only in mobility but in our parking facilities too. We already have experience of creating and operating car parks with solar panels (in The Hague and Amsterdam). These car parks aim to have their total energy needs covered by renewable energy generated on-site.
Besides adding more ZNE assets to our portfolio, which takes time and requires huge investment, we are actively reducing energy consumption today by installing LED lighting in more than 250 car parks. Most of these facilities have state-of-the-art movement detection too. We also close parking decks when demand is low ensuring that lights are switched off when nobody is there.