Pay-as-you-go parking machines set to be removed from city streets
Pay-as-you-go parking machines are set to be removed from city streets leaving motorists wrangling with up to 30 smartphone apps to pay charges
- Pay-as-you-go parking machines are set to be scrapped from UK city streets
- The move, due to the end of 3G, leaves motorists at the whim of various apps
Pay-as-you-go parking machines are set to disappear from British city streets leaving motorists at the whim of up to 30 different smartphone apps to pay charges.
People will have to pay for parking through one of the many applications rather than paying on the spot using cash or card.
The move could make parking payments challenging for elderly or vulnerable motorists who may not have a smartphone, or struggle to use apps if they do, according to The Times.
Mobile phone operators are switching off the 3G data networks which power the parking meters, which has forced councils to scrap the machines.
A common complaint among motorist regarding the switch to parking payment apps is how many there are, which can slow people down and result in missed appointments as they have to download yet another app.
Pay-as-you-go parking machines are set to disappear from city streets leaving motorists at the whim of 30 different smartphone apps (Pictured: A parking meter in Newcastle upon Tyne)
People will have to pay for parking through one of the many apps rather than paying on the spot using cash or card – or they could incur a fine (Pictured: A parking attendant checking cars by a meter in Edinburgh)
Britian’s biggest parking app RingGo has up to 515,000 users currently but there are many other apps including ParkMe, Parkopedia, Just Park and PayByPhone which are needed across the country.
Brighton and Hove city council will scrap all of its pay and display machines by May 31 citing that changing machines to 4G would require a large budget. It admitted the move could cause ‘digital exclusion’.
And the London borough of Bromley will remove all machines by early April due to a total cost of £1million to reconfigure them all.
Nicholas Bennet, Bromley’s executive councillor for transport, told The Times: ‘As a pensioner myself, I appreciate that some people have a problem with modern technology.
‘However, we are talking about people who drive a ton and a half of steel, which requires more skill than downloading an app.’
READ MORE: ‘Cash cow’ drivers hit as councils are set to hike car parking charges by as much as double in what critics say is an unfair plan to plug funding gaps by targeting motorists
Harrow had all machines removed by January and Enfield plan to have all gone by early April. Other boroughs which have removed some machines are Richmond, Merton and Barking and Dagenham.
Music journalist Pete Paphides wrote about a distressing moment for his 84-year-old father regarding parking payment apps on Twitter in May.
He said his father had attended a memorial service for his friend at Greek Cathedral in Birmingham and the meter had gone app-only since the last time he was there.
Panicking at the prospect of using a credit card or app, Mr Paphides’s father parked and hoped for the best. He called his son immediately asking if he could go online and sort the parking for him but everything was automated and there was no response.
His father died shortly after but was still issued a fine. UK Car Park Management ‘did not believe’ Mr Paphides when he said his father could not pay the fine as he had died and referred the case to debt collectors.
Mr Paphides wrote: ‘It does rather break my heart how difficult we’ve made it for old people to go about their daily business and how we terrorise them for the crime of not knowing how to download a f****** app.’
Vodafone switched off its 3G network in Plymouth and Basingstoke on February 28 and is set to turn off the entire network by the end of 2023.
And EE’s network will be turned off by the end of the year, while Three’s will terminate in 2024.
Music journalist Pete Paphides wrote about a distressing moment for his 84-year-old father regarding parking payment apps on Twitter in May
RingGo’s managing director Peter O’Driscoll blamed theft, vandalism and maintenance cost for the removal of machines, as well as the end of 3G.
He added that a new National Parking Platform from councils and the department for Transport could streamline apps meaning motorists can use the same one wherever they go.
Carolin Abrahams at Age UK claims the move is ‘disastrous for anyone without a smartphone’ and may make older people feel there is no point going out if they don’t have a means of legally parking their car.
The British Parking Association said the change could ‘alienate some people, including the elderly’ and that there should also be a cash or card alternative.
Source: Read Full Article