Until this year, the car park at New Life Church was secured by perimeter barriers which physically marked the boundaries of their car park, but did not secure the car park from unauthorised access. Situated on a busy thoroughfare, but away from the town centre, illegal parking was not a big issue for the Church and, therefore, they did not see any reason to fully secure their car park.
With the kick-off of the Rugby World Cup all this changed. The Church found itself situated opposite the newly created Fanzone, a 2000 capacity area designed to be the focal points for the town’s Rugby celebrations. A large number of the games were to be held at the weekend, including all of England’s pool games. The Church was concerned that, if their car park remained unsecured, their parking spaces would be swallowed up by visitors to the Fanzone, leaving their own staff and congregation with nowhere to park when visiting the church.
The Church was looking for a solution that would allow them to control who had access to their car park outside of the Church’s traditional operating hours; thereby guaranteeing visitors and staff a car parking space when arriving at the Church.
Installing an access control system to the entrance of the car park was the ideal remedy to the Church’s problem. Highly flexible, an automatic access system can be tailored to a site’s exact needs; with a variety of control options available.
The Church contacted AUTOPA, an access control specialist and local Rugby business, about installing the barrier. Before any purchasing decisions were made, AUTOPA carried out a site survey to fully understand the site and the Church’s requirements. In this case, they wanted to be able to regulate every vehicle entering and exiting the area. The barrier was programmed to have controlled entry and exit via a remote control, only authorised users that had access to the remote control can enter or exit the car park when the barrier is in operation.
For high traffic periods, the barrier was fitted with a manual override switch which locks the barrier in the upright position enabling multiple cars to enter the car park easily. A safety loop was installed beneath the barrier to prevent the barrier closing on top of any waiting vehicles. This loop detects if a car is passing through the barrier and stops the barrier from closing until the area is clear. As a final security measure, an electromagnetic lock was fitted between the boom and the catch post making it impossible to force the boom up when the barrier is in the down position.
The barrier was programmed and tested off-site at AUTOPA’s works in Rugby to cut down on the installation time required at site. Once programmed, the barrier was installed in two days and operational immediately. Alongside the installation of the automatic arm barrier, New Life Church repositioned their car park entrance from a side road to a main road. This made the entrance more prominent, easier to access and cut down on congestion at peak times.
The addition of the new Automatic Arm Barrier and the amended layout to the parking entrance gave New Life Church a functional and secure space that can be used for many years to come.