Improving the customer experience with bespoke signage for Newcastle Council car parks
Who: Newcastle City Council
Where: Multi-storey car parks, Newcastle
Challenge: Replace old signage to improve the customer experience for car park users
Solution: Bespoke Info1000 signage installed across the three sites with customizable message function using GSM technology.
- Trusted numbers activation
- Sign can be pre-programmed with up to ten designated messages
- Capability of displaying free text
- Override switch installed in the base to switch between pre-set messages
- Bespoke design
- Quick turnaround for unique design with in-house manufacturing
- Sleek design to fit in with existing building work
Newcastle City Council operate 8 multi-storey car parks in the city centre which each see a very high volume of users. The city observed an average of 18m visitors to Newcastle per year before the pandemic, with tourism experiencing significant year on year growth. Often a car park is the first building many visitors to a city centre encounter and so it is important to put forward a modern and well-organised appearance. As visitor numbers continued to grow, the council identified the need to update some of the car parks across the city.
Existing signage installed within the car parks across the city had not been updated in several years and involved printed messaging on metal boards. The council wanted to improve the customer experience and be able to update them with messaging on the signs when required.
Given the nature of car parks and general column free structure, the signs had to be installed in specific locations with restricted ceiling height and be able to withstand the heavy wear from traffic. It was also important to avoid creating obstructions and to accommodate traffic flow patterns to ensure optimum visibility for the signage.
TWM Traffic Control Systems were identified as a recommend supplier and so Newcastle City Council reached out to request a quote for a new signage solution at three of their sites. TWM put forward a competitive proposal that successfully won the business.
The solution involved the Info 1000 Variable Message sign which has the ability to display two pages of text which can alternate between each other for three seconds. The sign has a black non-reflective 200mm border which surrounds a black background, which is ideal for such a heavy traffic space.
Control of the sign is possible via an SMS text message sent by a registered trusted number. This level of security avoids any unauthorised messages being displayed on the signs and also allows for remote updates of the sign when required, without the need to be on site to update the messaging. The signage is mains powered for guaranteed performance, has the functionality of displaying free text and also features an override switch installed in the base to switch between pre-set messages if required.
Dave Atkinson from Newcastle City Council also commented on the helpfulness of the team during this process and quick turnaround from initially contacting TWM to actual install at the sites.
Dave commented: “We worked with TWM, to supply some digital information signage within some of our car parks, the process was straight forward from start to finish. The signage has been fault free and very useful – first class service.”
As we emerge from the pandemic and tourism begins to recover across the UK, we can expect car parks to experience the same volume of traffic witnessed before lockdown, and as such further upgrades are likely. Following the success of the initial installations, TWM hope to work with Newcastle City Council again to further improve parking facilities across the city.
Chris Rayner, National Sales Manager for TWM, commented: “This project provided TWM the opportunity to work on a bespoke solution that accommodated the specific requirements of a multi-storey car park.
The Info 1000 is a brilliant option that gives the flexibility and remote access needed and it was an absolute pleasure to work with Dave and the team to deliver this with a quick turnaround. We look forward to continue working with Newcastle City Council to improve signage throughout their sites.”
TWM belong to the Pilot Group, a company which also provides electric vehicle charging solutions. With increased regulations surrounding greener transport, Newcastle City Council are looking to offer more sustainable transport solutions across the city and so may look to work with TWM in new ways in the future.