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Parking Knowledge Zone


The parking industry is full of specialist terms, not only because of specialist parking products, but also the legislation involved in, for example, the Traffic Management Act 2004. Here we have gathered a list of words from the parking industry.

  • Penalty Charge Notice – “PCN”. Usually a “parking ticket” as defined by and issued under TMA 2004. Can be handwritten or a thermal ticket roll used in a portable printer.
  • Civil Parking Enforcement “CPE”. Parking regulated under the Traffic Management Act 2004. Replaced Road Traffic Act 1991 for decriminalised parking enforcement and introduced tiered penalty charge notices.
  • Civil Enforcement Officer “CEO” Replaced “Parking Attendant” under TMA 2004
  • PCN / ticket carrier usually an envelope style product in plastic or paper materials to fix penalty tickets to car windscreens. Can also include a return envelope to encourage payment of penalty charge notice / parking ticket
  • NtO – Notice to Owner – sent in response to an unpaid PCN, to the registered keeper of a vehicle detailing the contravention. Increasingly can utilise photographic evidence and sets out basis for representations / appeal.
  • CC – Charge Certificate – sent after no response to an NtO
  • Approved Operator Scheme “AOS” developed by British Parking Association for parking operators working in the area of parking enforcement on private land
  • GSM – grams per square metre – literally the weight of 1 square metre of (usually) paper. Used to describle different weights and types of paper. Typically a car parking permit might use a 100 gsm paper for example.
  • HoF Mark. “Head of Form” mark usually printed in black that identifies the top of a form (ticket) to a sensor on a printer. Most often seen on a thermal ticket roll such as those used for Penalty Charge Notices.
  • Pantone reference. Derived from the Pantone Matching System (PMS) it is a way of matching and specifying ink colours particularly for printed paper products. Critical to accurately match colours for corporate documents such as parking permits, penalty charge notices etc.
  • Lightfast Inks – Inks designed to resist fade due to UV. Inks are usually measured on the Blue Wool Scale where 8 is the maximum and indicates excellent lightfast properties. Most car parking permits require a high degree of lightfastness to withstand exposure to UV in a car windscreen
  • Holographic Image – a unique image that appears 3D on a flat surface. Can be used in secure labels or foils such as those found on car park passes / permits and other secure car parking products
  • Holographic Foil – a metallic foil produced using a holographic image. The image is difficult to reproduce and copy so is an ideal deterrent to fraud. Commonly used on car parking permits to deter fraud and detect fraudulent copying
  • Spot colour – an ink colour (pure or mixed) that is printed using a single pass through a printing press. Often referenced by a PMS number for accurate reproduction of colours on printed products such as penalty charge notices, parking permits, statutory documents etc.
  • Four colour process, also referred to as CMYK and full colour. The four colour process printing method uses Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (Black) to produce a printed image. Tiny dots of each primary colour are printed small enough so that the human eye perceives a single colour. Can be used to reproduce spot colours and give a greater range of colours for products such as parking permits, signs etc without necessarily increasing the cost
  • DiBond – one of a number of Aluminium Composite Materials (ACM) used in sign making and display. Consists of two cover sheets of aluminium with a polyethylene core. DiBond is a registered trade mark of Alcan. Has a limited scrap value and so may be useful to deter theft of traffic signs, car park signs, road signs
  • VMS – variable message sign. Usually comprised of an LED array whose content is driven by external data. Typically seen as a car park or traffic management measure to inform drivers of available car parking spaces on-street or in a car park
  • LAMPVF – a clear self adhesive laminate applied to a sign face to protect against grafitti and UV degradation. Useful to enhance to life of a car park sign and improve return on investment.
  • SSL - Secure Sockets Layer.  A technology that provides added security to online payments as it encrypts information.

We're keen to make this section as comprehensive as possible and we will keep adding to it. If  you'd like to make a contribution or something you'd like to see in the glossary please email us or give the office a call on +44 (0) 1604 438188.