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February 2003
The safest place on Earth?
(Well, nearly)
Bold Lane Car Park
Bold Lane Car Park: Safest place around
tiny Bold Lane Car Park in Derby is one of the most secure places in the world, according to a study published in a science magazine.
The hi-tech Bold Lane multi-storey, with spaces for 440 cars, has not seen one theft or case of vandalism in six years.

And that makes it unique in the UK, according to its designer, Ken Wigley.

blue arrowIn Pictures: Bold Lane Car Park

Other top 10 entries include the bank vault at Fort Knox, the US president's plane Air Force One and deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's Baghdad bunker.

The 10 most secure places in the world:
• Cheyenne Mountain - the command, control, communication and intelligence centre for coordinating and controlling North American Aerospace Defence Command and US Space Command missions
• HavenCo - a data-protection company based six miles off Britain, at Sealand in the North Sea, to which all but authorised staff, investors and members of the Royal Family are denied access
• ADX-Florence Prison - a maximum security jail in Colorado, US, where electronic doors, cameras and audio equipment allow a single guard to control the movements of numerous prisoners in several cell blocks
• The Mormon Church records store - vaults encased in rock at Granite Mountains, Utah, US, where armed guards waving metal detector wands usher visitors into a concrete bunker before swinging open metal gates to a tunnel entrance
• Deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's Baghdad bunker - a shelter where occupants could survive a direct hit from an atomic bomb for six months
• Fort Knox - a bank vault with a 25-tonne (24.6-ton) door
• The 1960s Bar - part of the Burlington bunker in Wiltshire
• Air Force One - a modified Boeing aircraft with all the latest safety technology, which flies the US President around the world
• Area 51 - a US military facility about 90 miles north of Las Vegas
• Bold Lane - a multi-storey car park near the shopping centre in Derby
Mr Wigley, an agricultural engineer, began working on the design after his car window was smashed and stereo stolen while parked in an airport car park.

Motorists pay an extra 20p every hour to ensure their cars' safety. And turnover for the multi-storey has risen from £87,000 in 1997 to £531,219 in 2002.

The Focus report said: "The multi-storey uses a sophisticated web including CCTV cameras, panic buttons, entry doors and bar-coded tickets to guarantee security, but the keystone is super-sharp patented sensors that spot if a parked car moves even a little when the central computer thinks it should be stock still, resulting in a lock-down of the site. Smart stuff."

blue arrowThe man behind car park fortress

At Bold Lane, motorists are asked to secure their parking bay by punching a number into a machine which recognises whether the driver has left the car park or has returned to it by linking the bay number with a ticket.

Whilst locked, a sensor under the car detects movement of the car and a network of cameras keep thieves at bay.

Pedestrians can only gain access to the car park if they have a ticket issued when the car entered the car park, thus deterring opportunist thieves.

blue arrowIn Pictures: Bold Lane Car Park

Once activated, the bay is secured until the driver returns and puts the ticket into another machine to pay the parking fee. At that point, the bay is unlocked.

In addition, the gates only open for cars to enter - or to exit once their fee has been paid.

Your comments on this story

used yesterday for first time, even on a saturday night i felt completly happy about my car, every town needs one of these for people who care about thier cars
Steve, Barnsley

Whenever I come to Derby I always use this -it's a bit geeky to get excited over a car park - but this place is neat!
Ian Skillings

it is absolutely fabulous i would die for it!!!!!!!!!!!!!
emily wallington, england

Derby is a bit out of place, all the others are some kind of top secret information or military base in a secret location, then derby an English city :(
Alfred Jones, Yorkshire

The only thing that beats it is guacamole!
Bob Smith

ben nottingham

gr8 car park!

amazing technology! why dont other citys, such as crich get one
Dan - Crich town center

a privilage to have such a safe carpark. i park there daily
Matt - Derby

Have just used Parksafe for the fist time. I realy did feel safe.
Nicola - Derby

FANTASTIC! great technology

I think that weare priveliged to have such a safe carpark in derby.GO DERBY!!!!!!
Becky Allestree

Wish there was a Parksafe where I live. I would use it all the time.
Elliot, Rochester

Fantastic car park, its definatly worth the extra 20p for total peace of mind. Wish other cities would wise up and go park-safe!
John, Derby

won't park my car anywhere else. The inventor is a genius! Now it's time to open one up in every city.
Mike, Derby centre

Used it last night - the little extra is worth the peace of mind.
Kim - Heanor

I have used this carpark and it lives up to all that has been stated. I cann't understand why all carparks are not the same. What a change from those who tell us you pay but leave your car at your own risk. Well done Derby!!
Keith Homden Javea Spain

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blue arrow Bold Lane Car Park picture gallery
blue arrow The man behind car park fortress
blue arrow More about Parksafe
blue arrow Cheyenne Mountain
blue arrow Fort Knox
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