As its name suggests, a public car park is a public space designated for the parking of vehicles. These car parks are generally designed for short-term and medium-term use and are open to all users. Public car parks require payment and are generally fitted with access control and CCTV systems, They may either be multi-storey car parks, or ground-level outdoor car parks.
Where the operator is running a public car park, it must comply with a strict set of rules, primarily concerning safety. Public car parks must meet a range of accessibility and safety rules set out in specific standards. The traffic lanes in such car parks must also meet minimum width requirements (3 metres wide for one-way lanes and 5.5 metres wide for two-way lanes).
Public car parks provide a space where users can park their vehicle securely and safely off the public road, in return for payment. This payment is determined by the length of stay in the car park. Public car parks provide users with a parking facility that is protected from damage (scratches, bumps, etc) and theft. As well as offering greater security, public car parks also help to alleviate congestion on city streets. In some case, illegally parked vehicles can cause traffic jams and increase pollution. Illegal parking is an offence punishable by a fine. This fine is intended to dissuade motorists from breaking public road traffic regulations.