Freedom Leisure

Impeccable support and a personal touch have helped transform the parking for a busy swimming complex in central Brighton.

Woman swimming in a freedom leisure pool
Woman swimming in a freedom leisure pool

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About Freedom Leisure

Freedom Leisure is one of the UK’s largest not-for-profit leisure trusts, providing communities with high quality and affordable swimming and fitness facilities.

Their Prince Regent site is in central Brighton, surrounded by shops, pubs, restaurants, and hotels in a busy area. With the site being subject to abuse which restricted access for staff and genuine customers, Parkingeye needed to help give control of the site back to the staff at Prince Regent, easing demands on them and helping the facility operate more efficiently.

Understanding their parking problems

Because of their central location, the Prince Regent site was subject to severe parking abuse, particularly out of hours and during peak periods in the local area from around 3:30 to 7:30 pm. The congestion on site caused traffic queues which would block roads in the area and make it difficult for legitimate visitors to make it to the swimming complex.


Following the national lockdowns when the site reopened, the
level of abuse was never clearer. The team at Prince Regent decided that they needed a more organised and customer-friendly approach to manage their parking. This would ease the demands on their internal teams and remove the negative impact that parking issues were having on their business.

  • The abuse on the car park had made managing the site a nightmare by all accounts. Motorists were using the car park overnight and making it almost impossible for staff and customers to get onto the site in the morning. We needed to do something to make life easier and give us more control over the car park.

    Matt Williams, Centre Manager for the Prince Regent site

    Freedom Leisure

    The Parkingeye solution

    To take back control of the car park, the abuse needed to be dealt with quickly. ANPR cameras were installed alongside terminals in the reception area to allow visitors to validate their parking. However, it also worked in the site’s favour to put a solution in place that capitalised on their overnight space availability. Pay-by-phone services were put in place, allowing motorists to pay a flat fee to park on the site overnight.

    The entire solution needed to be underpinned by support from Parkingeye, which came from their dedicated Account Manager. The ongoing support the site received helped them navigate the initial teething issues which crop up whenever a site goes live, such as customers remembering to validate their parking as the new rules
    take time to bed in.


     

    “Our Account Manager, Antony, has been amazing. Nothing has been too much trouble to resolve, which has made the system really easy to implement. The installation was brilliant too, everything required minimal effort on our part and keeps our parking easy to manage.”


     

    Woman checking her phone in a freedom leisure car park
    Woman lacing up her running shoes at sunset

    The Impact

    Initially, the site would be congested, with cars abandoned as motorists visited surrounding areas. Within a few days, the abuse on the car park cleared.

     

    Matt explained the transformation this had on the site:

    “When we first re-opened it was really difficult to park. By day two or three of the new system being live, the car park was clear, and the abuse vanished. It meant it was easier for staff to park and customers could reach us. There hasn’t been an occasion since where we’ve had a parking complaint. This has had a huge impact on our customers. Initially, we were risking losing members, that’s not an issue now.”

     

    Clearing the abuse on the site was one aspect of the solution, the whole system needed to be easy to use and manage while the pay-by-phone element helped to generate valuable revenue that could be reinvested back into the site.

    Matt was pleased with the simplicity of the solution, as well as the insight that reporting driven by Parkingeye’s data portal could provide:

    • The whole system has been really easy; it requires very little input from us to achieve what we need from it. It’s a no-brainer to use a solution like it if you have parking issues, it’s generating revenue, solved our parking problems and saved our staff a lot of time dealing with the car park. The data side of things has been really useful too, we’ve looked at when our car park is busiest and quietest and used that to inform and expand our activity programme. We can aim activity at quieter times to improve the flow of traffic and people on the site.

      Matt Williams, Centre Manager for the Prince Regent site

      Freedom Leisure

    • The abuse on the car park had made managing the site a nightmare by all accounts. Motorists were using the car park overnight and making it almost impossible for staff and customers to get onto the site in the morning. We needed to do something to make life easier and give us more control over the car park.

      Matt Williams, Centre Manager for the Prince Regent site

      Freedom Leisure

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