Motorists in the Wokingham Borough will soon be able to pay for parking using their mobile phones thanks to a new scheme by Wokingham Borough Council.
Starting on Monday October 3, the scheme, which aims to make paying for parking simpler and more convenient, is to be piloted in three car parks - Headley Road in Woodley and Rose Street and Denmark Street in Wokingham.
Wokingham Borough Council has partnered with Metric Mobile, its existing supplier of ticket machines, for the initiative which will run initially for six months.
Drivers can continue to use the existing coin operated machines or pay for their parking on their mobile phone using a credit or debit card. To use the service, motorists need to call 0118 907 6767 quoting the parking reference number, which can be found both on the pay and display machines and signs around the car parking area, and confirm their length of stay. People can even extend their parking time by mobile phone without having to return to their vehicle. This could mean no more fumbling for change. Users can even get a text message reminder when parking is about to expire.
The council's parking attendants will receive live details of the payments to hand-held terminals, enabling them to check on which vehicles have, or have not, paid for parking. People who have paid by phone will not need to display any ticket.
Cllr Keith Baker, executive member for transport at Wokingham Borough Council, said: “We want to make it as convenient as possible for people to pay for parking and give them as wide a choice as we can.
“People are increasingly using their mobiles to carry out many normal day to day requirements. Whilst there still is the option of putting coins in the pay and display machines, many drivers will find this option to be far more convenient. It means they do not have to find the right change for the parking machine and they will get alerts to let them know when their time is running out. They can even extend the time they want to park without having to rush back to put more money into the machine.”
Richard Boultbee, UK sales and marketing manager of Metric Group Ltd, said: “We are very excited to be working with Wokingham Borough Council on this brand new service and payment option.
“This service is convenient for motorists and a benefit to local businesses, as shoppers can just phone and pay for their parking – which is both quick and easy. If parking is running out they simply call and extend their time – so no need to rush back to the car!
“The service also makes parking safer, as there is no longer a sticker inside the vehicle indicating when the driver will be returning. As an additional benefit to all drivers, especially business users, receipts can be emailed to them automatically.”