14 May 2015

Cashless parking options to suit everyone

Drivers will not necessarily need a smartphone or access to the internet to pay for parking in Brighton & Hove once coin-operated ticket machines start disappearing.

The council is reassuring people who do not have the latest type of gadgets such as iPhones or android devices they can still register for the PayByPhone scheme and buy parking time.  

It is also easy to set up an account without using the internet. Simply call the automated service using any phone, old or new, to create an account – 30% of users in Brighton & Hove do this every month. The number is 01273 458 458 and you could do this now from the comfort of your own armchair.  The touch tone keypad is used for securely entering a self-chosen PIN number, payment card details and phone number.  An operator takes the vehicle registration number.   

In March the council announced its intention to remove half of the 1,200 cash parking machines in the city to save running costs by £250,000 a year.   But there will still be more familiar methods of payment available.  These include:

       Using cash in remaining machines nearby – there will be at least one machine in each street, or
       On-street credit card machines
       Various payment methods in any of 150 city shops displaying a PayPoint sign.  These take cards or cash and don’t need the right change
       Texting from older-style mobiles.

Drivers only have to register for the PayByPhone option – if you want to pay in a shop simply go to the nearest PayPoint outlet with your car registration number and the location number, posted in the street.

Would-be users for PayByPhone are encouraged to register in advance at home by phone or over the internet.  More information about how to register and the different ways of using the PayByPhone option can be found on their website.

One advantage of PayByPhone is the facility to extend parking time without returning to the vehicle.  You can also do this by popping into the nearest PayPoint shop. 

Payments for PayByPhone are made by quoting the location number on street signs and the vehicle registration number.  No tickets are issued or displayed.  Parking officers know if payments have been made by checking car numbers on hand-held devices.

Smartphone users can register and buy parking over the web or using a free app, which is what most users do in the city.

Machines are being removed, zone-by-zone, over a four month period, from May.

Paul Nicholls, from Brighton & Hove City Council, said:  “There’s no need to worry if you don’t have the latest type of phone.  You can pay in remaining machines or in some shops in the same way some people pay their gas bill.  Or you can register for the service and buy parking time using an old mobile.  It’s so much easier to sign up in advance.   We encourage people to set up an account at a convenient time and place, before they actually need it.”

A 15p service charge per phone payment has been cut to 10p.  Additional charges are made if users choose to have text alerts warning when parking time is expiring. 

On May 1 many charges at the Regency Square car park were reduced, reflecting a decision of the full council in March.