4 March 2015

Register now for phone parking as machines are going

Half of on-street parking machines in Brighton & Hove will be removed shortly as the city makes a major switch to paying by phone or in shops.

The council is strongly urging drivers to register online now to join the service.  Officials say it is easier to do this at home, in advance.

The move, aiming to save £250,000 a year, has just been agreed by full council.  It is part of a package of £26m savings forced this year by reductions in government grants and rising costs.

Maintenance and cash-collecting costs are reduced under the new system.

It means that in the next couple of weeks the council will start removing roughly half the machines, zone by zone.  It is expected the process will be complete by June.  Most machines are about 10 years old and ending their useful life.  Any newer machines needing removal will generally be used to replace old machines which are staying.

The council stresses that paying by phone is easy – with drivers able to register online at home, or from mobile devices.  Payment is then made on smartphones in the street by text or app - or by phoning the service using any type of phone. Find out more about how to pay by phone.

You can register on the PayByPhone website or on the free PayByPhone app or mobile website. Once you have registered, you can use PayByPhone to pay to park wherever you see the signs on or around the Pay and Display machines.

Alternatively payment can be made at more than 150 shops offering ‘PayPoint’ services.  These are typically used already by residents for paying for gas, electricity or other services.

There are also 55 pay-by-credit-card machines in the city.  Half of existing coin machines will also stay.

Once registered, drivers can pay by phone to park anywhere in the UK where the system operates.  It works for on-street parking plus eight car parks in Brighton & Hove.

No tickets need to be displayed. Parking wardens know whether payment has been made by checking car numbers on mobile devices.

A trial of removing machines over the last three months produced promising results, says the council.  This involved covering 34 machines.  Over 85,000 transactions were made by phone or PayPoint during the period, with just 19 people complaining.

Already 100,000 drivers have registered in Brighton & Hove, either as residents or visitors. Four million are signed up nationwide.

Lead councillor for transport Ian Davey says: “It really is very easy to use the phone system as millions of people across the country have already found.  I’d urge people to register as soon as possible, in advance, so you’re all set up by the time you need it.  Large numbers of our visitors, from London, will already be registered.

“Once that’s done it’s actually a lot easier than messing about getting the right change.  You can also top up your parking time remotely if you need to stay longer which is a lot easier than walking back to the car.”

A transaction fee of 15 pence for phone payments has been cut to 10 pence as part of the budget changes.