Vehicle entrances and barriers

Well-designed entrances and barrier systems make it easier for vehicles to enter a site and help prevent delays.

Vehicle entrances should be easy to find and entrance barrier systems easy to use.

Pedestrians should have priority on the footpath where vehicles cross to enter car parks. For large facilities such as malls and hospitals, pedestrians who are blind or have low vision need to be able to identify where priority to cross footpaths is given to vehicles.

Some drivers may have restricted reach. If the access controls are not easy to operate, they may not be able to enter the car park. This may be compounded if another vehicle has drawn up behind them and they are unable to reverse.

Operation by proximity card or similar remote device is an advantage for employees.

Some drivers may have hearing or speech impairment so operating an access system that requires spoken communication may be difficult. CCTV coverage is a simple way to monitor access points and if spoken communication is needed a visual indication of answer should be provided.

Where there is parking onsite, information as to availability will assist drivers to make decisions prior to entry.

Where there is no accessible parking space onsite, signage at the entrance directing drivers towards the nearest suitable parking is important.

Some vehicles may carry a wheelchair on the roof. Where there are vehicle height restrictions on a site, information should be available to drivers before they start their journey. Signage should make this clear before they turn towards the site entrance.

To make sure that a vehicle can enter the site, the barrier arm needs to raise clear of vehicle pathway. Low barriers can be a particular problem for high sided vehicles.

Design considerations

  • Ensure vehicle entrances are visually obvious.
  • Unless this is entry to a major facility, ensure pedestrians have priority over vehicles on the footpath. 
  • For major facilities where priority is given to vehicles, ensure the design gives visual and tactual warning to pedestrians who are blind or have low vision. Crossing facilities should be designed to make crossing driveways safe and easy for pedestrians.
  • Install good signage identifying the site and buildings, information on parking provisions, directions to accessible parking if there are none onsite, restricted heights of onsite routes, and which way to turn on exit.
  • Provide barrier access controls that are easy to locate and operate, and are covered by CCTV. If spoken communication at the barrier is needed, ensure a visual indication of answer is provided.
  • Ensure the barrier will physically clear any vehicle suitable for the site.

Building Code requirement

Building Code clause D1 Access routes:

D1.3.1 Access routes shall enable people to: (d) manoeuvre and park cars, (e) manoeuvre and park delivery vehicles required to use the loading space.

This information is published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Chief Executive. It is a general guide only and, if used, does not relieve any person of the obligation to consider any matter to which the information relates according to the circumstances of the particular case. Expert advice may be required in specific circumstances. Where this information relates to assisting people: