Types of layout

The type of layout will also depend on the space, the terrain limitations and the budget available. Generally the layout should respond to the terrain and the shape of the landform. This will help to ensure that the least impact is caused by cut and fill; that the landform can be used to create irregular, naturalistic layout shapes and to help screen vehicles from external views; and to ensure that easy grades and good drainage can be achieved. To make the best use of awkward terrain, more travelling surface may be needed per parking bay. This may increase the overall cost but may make maintenance easier.

A linear layout to avoid is one where the road is positioned on the main attraction or view with an avenue of cars on either side. This puts the cars before the view and is very intrusive.

In forested areas it is frequently ideal to disperse the parking amongst the trees. In this way the ambience and character can be maintained, shade can be provided during hot weather, snow can be intercepted during the winter, and the impact of the whole can ‘lie lightly on the land’. Damage to tree rooting can be avoided by careful construction and the use of porous surfacing materials.

Vehicular circulation can be one-way or two-way. One-way traffic is generally easier to control and safer for all concerned. The following examples of different layout plans are suitable for a variety of circumstances. The precise setting out needs to be adjusted on the ground to accommodate local landform variation or the precise position of trees, as detailed site surveys may not be carried out in many circumstances.