Key messages

  • As far as possible, keep parked vehicles out of the flow of traffic and people.
  • Tell drivers where parking areas are as soon as they enter the site.
  • Try and lay out parking areas to reduce manoeuvring and reversing for large vehicles.

Questions to ask

Your risk assessment should answer these questions:

  • How many vehicles use your site?
  • Where do they go?
  • What do the drivers do?
  • What type of vehicles are they?
  • How do we need to control parking?
  • How will we segregate pedestrians from traffic in the parking areas?
  • How can we minimise the need for manoeuvring and reversing?
  • How will we enforce safe parking?

Where possible, you should provide parking areas for all vehicles using the workplace – work-related vehicles private cars, motorcycles and pedal cycles. Parking areas should be in safe and suitable places.


Controlled parking areas might be appropriate wherever uncontrolled parking might pose a risk to safety, for example by:

  • narrowing routes;
  • blocking sight lines; and
  • forcing pedestrians on to vehicle routes.

On some sites (for example, larger industrial complexes) it may be appropriate to control parking across the whole site.

When drivers enter a controlled parking area, you need to tell them clearly:

  • that they may only park in allowed places; and
  • how they can recognise these areas.

Where parking is controlled throughout the site, give this information at the site entrance.


Keep people and vehicles apart in and around parking areas by using pedestrian and vehicle exclusion areas.

If possible, drivers leaving parked vehicles should not have to cross potentially dangerous work areas or traffic routes.

Physical precautions such as bollards and barriers can help to prevent vehicles from crossing into walking areas and improve safety for pedestrians.

Parking areas

  • be clearly signposted;
  • be firm;
  • be level;
  • be well drained;
  • not be slippery;
  • be well lit (if possible); and
  • be as close as possible to where people need to go when they leave their vehicles (for example, refreshment facilities for visiting drivers).

The type of parking area will depend on the vehicles used at the workplace (including visiting vehicles), where they go and what they are used for.

An alternative to parking 'lots' might be bays or lay-bys, offset from the flow of traffic and people, where vehicles can be left safely. These should also be firm, level, well lit and clearly marked.

Where vehicles have to be parked on a slope, they should:

  • be parked facing up or down the slope, never sideways on.
  • have their brakes applied
  • be left in gear (when it is safe to do so).
  • wheel-chocks must be used when necessary.

Drivers must NEVER leave their vehicles without making sure that the vehicle and its trailer are securely braked.


Wherever possible, parking areas should be designed so that only simple manoeuvres are needed for vehicles to park and leave. Always try to avoid the need for reversing, and also think about how articulated and other large vehicles will be able to use the space safely.

If a driver needs to move the load area of their vehicle close to a structure, reversing will often be unavoidable. However, parking areas can often be arranged in drive-through patterns.

If you can't have drive-through parking, arrangements should encourage reverse parking that:

  • reduces the number of vehicles reversing out into a flow of traffic;
  • improves visibility for departing vehicles.

Arranging parking bays at an angle backwards to the flow of traffic is a good way of encouraging reverse parking.


You may need a wheel-clamping scheme (where wheel clamping is legal) or other measures to enforce parking restrictions on some sites. Use these measures if somebody parks where they are not supposed to, to make sure the schemes are effective.

If parking is a significant problem, a full survey of parking demand and availability might be appropriate. You may want to consult professional engineers to conduct such a survey.


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