Drivers in Lambeth are now able to 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.
Launched yesterday, 28th November 2011, Lambeth Council, in partnership with PayByPhone, has introduced new technology that allows people to pay for their parking by simply sending a text message, making a quick phone call or using a smartphone app.
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.
To mark the launch of the scheme in Waterloo, Cllr Lorna Campbell, Lambeth Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Sustainability visited Lower Marsh, Waterloo, to get a demonstration of the new technology in action.
Cllr Campbell 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, as we will be able to gradually reduce the number of old style pay and display machines as people get used to paying by phone. 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, as 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.”
PayByPhone already has over 1.5 million registered users in London so the majority of customers will not have to register to use the service in Lambeth. Motorists not already registered can easily set themselves up with a PayByPhone parking account either via a secure website at home, or on the street via a touchtone service, mobile web or PayByPhone app.
After registering, they will be able to pay for their parking using any of these methods and the parking fee is 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 are able to 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 text confirmation or can check their parking transactions online.
The scheme has launched in the Waterloo area of Lambeth first, and will be extended to other parts of the borough in the New Year.