Newry set to trial innovative new car parking scheme
Newry City is set to be one of a number of cities and towns which will participate in a new trial scheme which is designed to ensure people parking in the City Centre can pay for their parking space through their smartphones and other online technology. It is the first time the scheme has been extended beyond Belfast and it is hoped motorists will use credit/debit cards or smartphone technology to pay instead of parking meters.
Transport Minister Danny Kennedy believes the initial trial in Belfast has proven that the concept does work. “We have had excellent customer feedback during our evaluation of Northern Ireland’s first cashless pay by mobile phone parking scheme,” said the transport minister. “Nearly 40,000 calls have been recorded since the scheme’s introduction last February – a clear indication that motorists have benefited from using the Belfast service. It makes sense to give other towns which have pay-and-display parking the same opportunity to make use of the scheme.”
Kennedy added, “The scheme provides a viable alternative to coins at parking machines, allowing a credit or debit card payment substitute and it gives people a convenient way to extend their parking stay.”
Although Newry already has pay-and-display parking, it is hoped this new scheme will eventually become a main payment method. Under the new scheme, users are billed monthly for their parking and a live database, which can be tapped into by traffic wardens by using the car’s registration plate, will show whether the vehicle owner has paid for their space.
Peter O’Driscoll from Parkmobile, which supplies the system, said, “Depending on motorists’ personal preferences, they can start their parking by a short phone call, activating online, or via one of the Parkmobile parking apps available on iPhone, Android and Blackberry. We know that when it comes to cashless parking, it is important not to try to be a one-size-fits-all company. Customers vary greatly in their use of technology and their parking needs and it is important that we have a broad approach and appeal to all user groups.”
He added, “Accessing the system by mobile phone is still the most popular method, but we continue to see strong growth in users choosing to start and stop their cashless parking action through one of our apps – making the process quick and simple, and avoiding the need to search for coins.”
Motorists can register for the trial service over the phone by calling 028 9575 7988 or on the Parkmobile website http://www.parkmobile.co.uk/
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