How do car park barriers work?

How do car park barriers work?

Whatever the industry, purpose or premises, there is a huge range of efficiently engineered car park barrier systems to choose from. These can help restrict areas, control traffic, improve security, and keep car park spaces open and reserved for only authorised personnel. But just how exactly does the ingenious system of a car park barrier work? First, let’s take a look at the different kinds of car park barrier systems out there.

Different types of car park barriers

Automatic car park barriers

Not typically needing a manned operation, automatic car park barriers are used to control traffic flow and restrict certain areas to only allow authorised vehicles to enter or pass through. Being automatic, they require minimal maintenance and can be operated via numerous access control systems - from keypads and GSM intercom to fingerprint recognition systems and ANPR cameras and systems. For leisure and commercial premises, there are also automatic car parking payment systems which can read paid tickets on exit.

Manual barriers

Providing a cost-effective vehicle control system, a manual barrier works for a range of applications, including: 

  • Car parking
  • Road access
  • Traffic control

Coming in a range of lengths, manual barriers can be locked in both the ‘open’ and ‘close’ positions by using a secure padlock.

Manual arm barriers

Barriers using a manual arm operation are very practical, with a balanced design and pivot mechanism. Manual arm barriers come with automatic locking systems to keep the barriers fixed in a lowered or raised position and are secured with a padlock to give extra stability for easier control. Running costs are low as no power is required. 

Height restriction barriers

Barriers can also be used to restrict taller vehicles from entering premises, specific roads or areas, which is particularly useful when there is limited space. Height restriction barriers can help with improving overall productivity by preventing larger vehicles from obstructing areas, entrances and exits. These types can also be cost-effective as they require zero maintenance.  

Single or double swing gates

Another manual barrier option is swing gates. Depending on the space and size of premises or areas, swing gates can either be single or double. Double swing gates can be locked centrally and both designs - single or double - can be locked in either the ‘open’ or ‘close’ position. These kinds are incredibly low maintenance, as they don’t require a manned station or electronic installation.

Physical car park barriers

There are also a range of physical car park barriers from perimeter barriers to security bollards and parking posts that help restrict and control parking. For certain spots, such as edges or grassy parts, where you need to deter people from entering or parking, these barriers work very effectively. 

Not sure if you need a manual or automatic barrier? Let the experienced team at Expert Security UK guide you through. Call us on 0808 278 7275 or contact us here.

How does a car park barrier work?


With manual barriers, it’s pretty simple in how they operate, as they require no manned stations or power. Whether it’s a swing gate, height restricted barrier or manual arm barrier, all that is required is a simple padlock system. Barriers can be locked in ‘close’ positions during certain times of the day when the car park is not in use, or locked in ‘open’ positions during active car parking hours.

Automatic and access control

Automatic car park barriers work with intelligent access control systems. Many can operate with a simple keypad or with a GSM intercom, whereby staff can answer the intercom calls from anywhere using a mobile phone and control access on the go. 

They can also use fingerprint recognition systems that work through biometric security technology. Multispectral fingerprint images are stored in a database of authorised users, meaning only authorised personnel can gain entry with top accuracy. 

Another access control system is the use of ANPR cameras which use CCTV-style cameras to cleverly detect number plates and allow access. These are compatible with automatic car park barriers, industrial gates and security bollards, meaning a range of entrances and facilities can be restricted, from multi-storey car parks to business parks. The CCTV element also means you can monitor and capture any suspicious activity. When it comes to payment, visitors just need to enter their registration number to pay the parking fee, which is instantaneously calculated from the moment of entry via the ANPR cameras.

Who can benefit from car park barriers?

Whether it’s a paid car park or one that just needs to restrict unauthorised visitors from entering, car park barriers can cater for a whole range of purposes. With intelligent identification technologies to simple, manual set-ups, car park barriers can benefit a range of properties and purposes:

  • Staff car parks
  • Restricted driving routes
  • Schools
  • Hotels
  • Business parks
  • Logistics centres
  • Hospitals
  • High-security premises
  • Commercial and leisure facilities

Car park barriers offer incredibly efficient and secure solutions to parking security and traffic management. Whatever your industry, property or requirement, contact Expert Security UK to take you through what car park barrier system could work for you.