Park­ing Tips

Macclesfield Express - - SCHOOLS -

‘YULE’ be pleased you read IAM Road­S­mart’s guide to Christ­mas shop­ping car park­ing!

Christ­mas shop­ping can be a re­ally fes­tive start to the sea­son, and planned well ‘yule’ be able to get ev­ery­thing done with­out break­ing the bank on park­ing!

This week’s tips give ad­vice to all those plan­ning on mak­ing a day of get­ting all the Christ­mas shop­ping done, from IAM Road­S­mart’s head of driv­ing and rid­ing stan­dards, Richard Glad­man.

DE­CID­ING where to park can have a huge im­pact on cost

I have known park­ing charges cost more than some presents them­selves.

Have a look and see if your town have spe­cial of­fers on park­ing around the fes­tive sea­son – some towns have re­duced rates on cer­tain days and for late night shop­ping.

THINK about where you leave your ve­hi­cle in a multi-story car park.

Al­ways choose your space on when you plan to re­turn, it is never nice to re­turn to the only car left on the top floor of a now rel­a­tively empty car park.

AT any one time, 30 per cent of driv­ers on UK roads are in city cen­tres search­ing for a park­ing space.

On av­er­age it takes 10-15 min­utes to find some­where to park and dur­ing busy pe­ri­ods that time frame gets big­ger!

So make sure you add the time it will take to get parked up into your time plan for the day.

CHOOSE a car park which has a cer­tifi­cate backed by the po­lice for safety

Such as Park Mark, their car parks use clear di­rec­tional sig­nage and traf­fic flow tech­niques like one-way cir­cu­la­tion so driv­ers are not con­fused about which way to go. Pedes­trian ac­cess and exit routes are clearly in­di­cated with sig­nage and con­trolled routes such as painted paths, which help to keep you safe. A car park finder is avail­able here: www.park­mark. co.uk/car-park-finder.

TRY to avoid re­turn­ing to your ve­hi­cle to leave your presents while you con­tinue on.

Un­for­tu­nately thieves do watch for this sort of thing – leav­ing valu­ables in a car is never a good idea es­pe­cially after you spent all that time and ef­fort in choos­ing the right presents.

SOME car parks are not as well-lit as oth­ers

So it’s a good idea to put your lights on and give your eyes time to ad­just to the dif­fer­ent light level. Keep a look out for pedes­tri­ans think­ing more about their shop­ping list than their safety – es­pe­cially ex­cited chil­dren.

CHOOSE your park­ing neigh­bours and space care­fully

A car which is looked after and in good con­di­tion is less likely to have a door open into yours.

Also, al­though never on pur­pose, a car with child seats in it might have chil­dren who are not quite as care­ful in charge of the door.

RE­VERSE park or drive in? Use the op­tion which suits you best

If you need to put your shop­ping in the boot when you re­turn con­sider driv­ing into the space, but be aware you need to ex­er­cise cau­tion when re­vers­ing out.

UN­LESS it is a pay and dis­play avoid leav­ing your ticket in the car and make sure you put it some­where safe

If you are a reg­u­lar at los­ing tick­ets, take a quick photo of it so you have all the de­tails to hand just in case it is not your day again.

IF you have used a pay and dis­play

Set an alarm on your phone to re­mind you what time it runs out, it can be very easy to let time slip by with­out you notic­ing.

Richard said: “As Christ­mas ap­proaches it be­comes more dif­fi­cult to ‘pop’ into the town cen­tre, park­ing spa­ces can be in short sup­ply and a queue to get in or out takes away from the plea­sure of choos­ing a gift. Park and ride is of­ten a good op­tion and some lo­cal au­thor­i­ties will set up a scheme es­pe­cially for Christ­mas. If you are able avoid the week­end, it is of­ten eas­ier to find a space whilst most peo­ple are deal­ing with their daily commute.”

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