National Parking Platform
Concept & Objectives
The National Parking Platform (NPP) is a major publicly-owned initiative funded by DfT and hosted by Manchester City Council. It is open to public and private parking operators and service providers. The NPP will improve the customer journey across the full range of on-street and off street parking (both public and private) via a publicly-owned platform. Customers will be able to locate suitable parking for their journey, check tariff and availability, pre-book a space and make payment through the NPP, before starting their journey – or even modify that journey as conditions change to use alternative parking.
The NPP manages data exchange between systems and is based on the Alliance for Parking Data Standards (APDS) technical specifications, which form the basis of ISO Technical Specification [ISO/TS 5206-1] and the revision of the CEN Technical Specification [CEN/TS 16157-6].
The NPP makes parking data available to the customer via third-party apps. Car parks and on-street parking areas that supply data to the NPP have enhanced “digital visibility” which gives them an important commercial and competitive advantage. On-street authorities will be able to increase the efficiency of their operations, provide a better service and reduce the cost of compliance management.
Service Providers will be able to:
- Offer their customers the ability to park in any participating Operator’s facility
- Pay Operators for parking used by their Customers without the need for a contract with each one
- Negotiate rates and access with Operators for their Customers
- Reserve spaces in Operator’s facilities
- Develop value added services (e.g. guidance to space, frictionless parking) based on standard, available information.
Parking operators will be able to:
- Describe the parking they offer (including rates, times, restrictions etc)
- Publicise occupancy in real time
- Accept payments and reservations from Service Providers without the need for a contract with each one
- Digitise compliance monitoring without the need for local digital infrastructure
As a national digital asset to GDS standard, future NPP functionality could significantly open the market and be further extended to:
- Integrate with MaaS platforms to provide interoperability with other transportation systems (ticketing systems, journey planners, live information etc)
- Provide information and payment for EV charging
- Manage mobility hub operations (last mile delivery, cycle hire, car clubs)
- Manage other forms of rights such as emissions zones, freight parking
- Manage wider kerbside management and monetisation strategies
NPP Phase 1 (space availability) was successfully completed in 2019. It delivered a working pilot platform which allowed static data and availability data from off-street car parks and details of Traffic Regulation Orders on-street in Manchester city centre to be collected on an open data platform and published via customer-facing apps using industry standard APDS compliant APIs.
NPP Phases 2 and 3 (multi-vendor payment) extended the functionality of the platform to enable customers to make payment for parking using the digital supplier of their choosing nationwide for three off-street use cases and for on street permitted parking zones, along with reconciliation of payments from multiple sources across multiple parking operators/car parks
The prototype platform is available for participating partners, with a ‘staging area’ to enable partners to undertake testing. There are currently over 25 operators (19 from the public sector), 10 service providers and 12 technology suppliers participating in the project. The first public pilots began in Manchester in 3rd Quarter 2021. Up to a dozen other pilot projects will be implemented during 2022.
Beginning with NPP Phase 2, a working group composed of senior local government officials and other public sector officials began developing a commercial model, allowing multiple operators and service providers to co-operate at scale and exploring the governance options for the platform, including long-term funding proposals.
The next stage
Subject to final approval of funding Phase 4 will commence in Quarter 2 2022 and will continue the work begun in Phase 3 to:
- Increase the number of local authorities and other entities trialling the platform
- Put in place a governance structure to run the NPP during and beyond the proof of concept period with arrangements for money flow & working capital
- Develop further tutorial and other communication and didactic materials to increase awareness and use of the NPP by both public and private organisations.
This phase will also include work to increase awareness of the APDS technical specifications across the UK parking sector.
More information on APDS.
The international Alliance for Parking Data Standards (APDS) is a not for profit organisation founded by the British Parking Association, the European Parking Association, and the international Parking & Mobility Institute. With the aid of initial funding from the UK Department for Transport and sponsorship from within the parking industry, APDS has develop a suite of technical specification that enable devices in the parking, transport, and mobility sectors to communicate through a common language.
More details on APDS and to download the specification, go to https://www.allianceforparkingdatastandards.org.
If you would like details of the interface specification, go to https://github.com/parkingdata/spec
The APDS core model has been adopted as the basis for ISO/TS 5206-1 standard for parking data and, revised DATEX ll part 6 / CEN 16157. Working with the ISO/TC204 Intelligent transport systems Technical Committee Working Group 14 work item 23374 Automated Valet Parking Systems, it seeks to ensure alignment of concepts and data, and ensure relevance of the ISO AVPS to parking operations to support the development and deployment of connected and automated vehicles.
APDS core data domains
 The APDS specifications will form the basis of both the forthcoming ISO TS 5206-1 and the revised part 6 of the DATEX ll CEN 16157, establishing APDS as the global standard for parking data. The technical work on the new ISO and DATEX (CEN) standards is complete and will be published in summer 2022. The NPP is the first large scale implementation of the APDS technical specifications. The initial development work on APDS was funded by DfT.