In London, and in a growing number of other cities and towns, parking attendants have taken over the work of traffic wardens. The job could involve working on-street or in multi-storey or underground car parks.
Parking attendants working in a controlled on-street parking area patrol to make sure parking regulations are being observed. They issue penalty notices ('parking tickets') or arrange for vehicles to be removed or clamped if necessary. They also explain regulations to motorists and advise them about parking facilities.
The duties of parking attendants working in car parks vary according to the type of car park. They may issue tickets or ensure pay and display machines are stocked with tickets and cash is emptied; check tickets and take payments as motorists leave; patrol the car park to ensure it is clean, and that equipment is in working order; monitor security, sometimes by closed circuit television (CCTV).
All parking control, both on- and off-street, increasingly involves information technology equipment.
The job may involve shift and weekend work.
In some jobs the majority of time is spent out of doors, patrolling the streets or the car park. In others, most of the time is spent indoors operating a car park control centre, monitoring CCTV, or collecting parking fees using a cash till. Both types of work involve plenty of contact with the public.
Parking attendants usually wear a uniform and often use a hand-held computer and a radio to keep in touch with the control room.
To be a parking attendant you should:
The need for well-organised parking in towns and cities is growing, resulting in an increase in the number of jobs for parking attendants. Parking operations are run by local authorities, private companies or by partnerships between the two.
As the job becomes more complex, there are opportunities for training and progression to administrative and supervisory work.
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