Making parking ‘smarter’

APCOA Parking Group, Europe’s leading parking operator with nearly 50 years of industry expertise, has recently increased its presence in the Irish market by undertaking a major acquisition. Here we see how APCOA works with clients, including public authorities, to assist with effective parking strategies.

Car parking is one of the most talked about issues in town and city centres and frequently cited by businesses as a cause of poor performance. Effective planning and management of parking services is a challenge for many local authorities and public bodies. It is not just about the provision and management of spaces; these also require effective enforcement systems.

Innovative use of technology to make parking ‘smarter’ and promoting better use of town centre space across Northern Ireland helps to create the right environment for business investment and the lifestyle of residents, commuters and visitors. As an experienced parking operator, APCOA works with public and private sector clients to contribute knowledge and expertise to the planning and implementation of effective parking strategies.

In August, APCOA Parking acquired the business of Nationwide Controlled Parking Systems (NCPS) in Ireland, including subsidiaries Parking Enforcement Solutions (PEA) and Mobile Research Solutions, trading as parkbytext. This investment strengthens APCOA’s position in Northern Ireland and enables a broad platform of services to be offered across the country. In addition to the existing APCOA business, NCPS subsidiary PEA brings a further 80 client locations, primarily in the greater Belfast area, with key sites such as the iconic Titanic Quarter, numerous NHS hospitals and Trusts and the Odyssey Event Centre.

Combining their expertise and customer base across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, this acquisition now makes APCOA a leading mobile parking operator in cashless parking, providing convenient, cashless and cost-effective payment options to nearly 200,000 parking customers. Other parking solutions APCOA provide include:

  • Parking consultancy services;
  • Car park design, build, finance and operation;
  • Car park management;
  • Paid car parking controls;
  • Mobile payments;
  • Technology services;
  • On and off street enforcement services;
  • Car charging points; and
  • Provision and maintenance of parking equipment.

The APCOA group also recently acquired Onepark A/S in Denmark and bought another smaller Swiss company last year. “APCOA Parking Group profited from healthy organic growth last year and we are currently strengthening our focus on strategic acquisitions,” explains Philippe Op de Beeck, CEO of APCOA Parking Group. “With every acquisition, we have pursued a clear strategy: not to become a property owner. Thanks to our consistent ‘Asset Light’ business model, we have established APCOA as a reliable partner, maximising the value of both private and public property owners’ assets.”

APCOA believes the acquisition will improve business capability in Northern Ireland by bringing together the best knowledge, systems and operational experience and practice. Kim Challis, the Regional MD for APCOA UK & Ireland says: “There are opportunities to share innovation and technology solutions from both companies and for our clients in Northern Ireland to benefit from the on-going investment and business experience that comes from APCOA UK & Ireland being part of a larger European group. Colleagues in NCPS and APCOA have a keen focus on customer service and we’ve brought together two experienced management teams. We’re very excited about the opportunities ahead.”

APCOA Parking Group is Europe’s leading parking operator with nearly 50 years of industry expertise. With its 5,000 employees, the company manages approximately 1.5 million individual parking spaces at over 10,000 locations in 13 European countries. These include parking spaces at 1,800 city and shopping center locations, 400 hotels, 150 Hospitals and 58 European airports.


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