29 August 2013

New technology will make it easier to park

From next month drivers will have the option of paying for parking by phone along the seafront.

Brighton & Hove City Council, in partnership with PayByPhone, is making the choice available from 16 September in both on-street bays and car parks.

The service is being offered alongside pay and display machines to give as much choice as possible. Over the next 6 months the service will be made available in all parking bays including on-street bays and car parks.

Councillor Ian Davey, lead member for transport in Brighton & Hove, said:

“Having the option of paying for parking by phone was one of the recommendations to come out of the citywide parking review – 78% of people taking part in the review said they wanted to use credit and debit cards for parking and 45% said they would probably use this system*.

“The new scheme is designed to make it easier for people. If you choose to pay by phone you won’t need to find exact change to put in the machine, but if you do wish to pay the traditional way, then that option will still be there.

“We looked at how to make the service available in Brighton & Hove as it is already well established in other areas and by joining the scheme in Lambeth we were able to keep costs down.”

Brighton & Hove will be monitoring the take-up of cashless parking and is introducing the scheme in phases. Signs and stickers are being installed on Pay and Display machines where the PayByPhone service is available which include simple instructions on how to use it.

Robin Bevan, Commercial CEO at PayByPhone said:  “We are very excited to be working with Brighton & Hove City Council and introducing PayByPhone as a new and convenient way for customers who struggle to find the right cash to pay for their parking. 

“When using PayByPhone, parking is charged to your credit or debit card, but the beauty of our service is that you don’t have to find a Pay and Display machine to make the payment. All you need to do is park up, read the instructions on the sign and make the payment from your car – what could be easier?  You can also choose to receive text message reminders before your parking ends so you can top up your parking without having to return to your car. ”

People with smartphones can choose to use the mobile website or PayByPhone app and other phones can access the service by calling a number which is charged at local rates. The service does not use a voice recognition system which has been problematic in other areas and card details are collected the first time the service is used via a secure payment process.

When parking, the driver sends in a location code displayed on the signage, the length of time they wish to stay, and the three digit security number on their registered card. Drivers using the scheme will also be able to extend their parking time remotely if, for example, they are in a meeting or shopping, without having to return to their car.

There is a service charge of 15p for PayByPhone transactions, in line with the practice of most other councils which offer the service alongside pay and display machines. This covers the cost of providing the service and processing the payment. PayByPhone is widely available across London and in other areas of the UK such as Manchester, Lincoln and Tunbridge Wells.

For an additional 15p there is a further option of text messages to remind the driver just before their parking session expires.

PayByPhone is planned to roll out to other central areas of Brighton & Hove over the Autumn and the rest of the city by spring next year.

* This figure rose to 67% in the under 44 age-group.

For more information go to www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/paybyphone-parking

  • The London Borough of Lambeth established parking PayByPhone with the city of Westminster, Transport for London and the City of London Corporation.