Accessible parking spaces guidance published
The Department and the Barrier Free NZ Trust have recently published a guidance booklet called Accessible car parking spaces. It is about providing car parking spaces that are suitable for use by people with disabilities, especially wheelchair users and people with mobility aids.
The document is aimed at off-street car parking, where the parking is associated with a particular building. However, the principles apply to all off-street car parking.
Accessible car parking is important because most people with impaired mobility depend on the use of a privately owned motor vehicle, or designated maxi-taxi with a hoist, for their transport needs. Many wheelchair users are able to drive a car, with the chair mounted on a roof hoist or carried inside the car. A wider-than-standard parking space is needed so they can place the wheelchair alongside the car door and transfer to it. There must also be a safe route from the parking space to the associated building that a wheelchair user can negotiate without assistance (an 'accessible route'). The accessible car park makes an important contribution to ensuring people with disabilities are able to take part in normal everyday activities.
The document refers to the relevant sections of the Building Code and to NZS 4121: 2001 Design for Access and Mobility - Buildings and Associated Facilities for the important features of accessible parking. The Building Code requires accessible car parks when car parking is provided. A certain number of car parks are also often a requirement of the district plan of the territorial authority where the building is located.
The key features are the size of the parking spaces (3.5 m x 5 m), the flat surface (not steeper than 1:50), the surfacing material (hard and slip resistant), and signs indicating the location of the accessible spaces. A method of calculating the number of accessible parking spaces needed, as a proportion of the total number of parks, is also given.
Other aspects covered in the guidance are parking buildings, motel parking, and Mobility Parking Permits.
You can find the booklet on the Department's website or you can order hard copies from us by calling 0800 242 243.