Drivers in Lambeth will soon be able to be pay for parking using their mobile phone, under a scheme that will end the hassle of having to hunt for the right change to feed the meter.
Lambeth Council is installing cashless ‘pay by phone’ parking technology that allows people to pay for their parking by simply sending a text message or by making a quick phone call.
The new technology means that if motorists find they are delayed at the shops or in a meeting, they can top up their parking fee remotely without having to hurry back to their car.
From December motorists will be able to easily set themselves up with a pay by phone parking account, either via a secure website at home, or via a touchtone phone or SMS text on the street. After registering they will simply be able to pay for their parking with a quick phone call or text, with the parking fee charged to their credit or debit card.
As well as making life easier for motorists, the system will have benefits for the council, reducing maintenance costs caused by vandalism of parking meters by thieves who try to get at the cash inside.
There is no need to display a ticket as the council’s Civil Enforcement Officers can check if payment has been received using their hand held devices, which are automatically updated once a phone payment has been made. The customer has proof of payment with an optional SMS confirmation or can check all their parking transactions online.
Cllr Lorna Campbell, Cabinet Member for Environment and Sustainability, said: “This is really going to make life easier for motorists, allowing them to top up their parking without having to rush back to their car, and end the need for having to hunt for the right change.
“Over time it will also save thousands of pounds. The money we currently spend maintaining pay and display machines could be far better spent on services for residents.
“We’re not getting rid of the old pay and display machines completely, and there will be some people who want to continue paying by cash, but over time we believe more and more people will see the benefits of paying by phone.”