New trial of automatic parking payments system at Oxford’s Pear Tree, Redbridge and Seacourt park and rides exceeds expectations.
A new parking payment system that works through automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) is being trialed at three of Oxford’s park and ride car parks and has exceeded expectations with just under ten per cent of customers signing up in the first month.
ODS (Oxford Direct Services) which manages the car parks on behalf of Oxford City Council, decided to trial the new technology-based scheme as part of its approach to actively encourage participation and compliance with parking, and minimise the issuing of fines.
ODS is like a social enterprise; we consider the impact of our decisions on the community. This new approach fits in with that ethos of doing good. For people who sign up and register a payment card, this approach completely takes away the risk of being fined and is incredibly convenient.
Caspar Morris, ODS’ parking team leader
The scheme is a fully automated parking payment system that detects when drivers enter and leave the car park, and then charges them automatically. It is operated for ODS and Oxford City Council by Hozah, which also operates ANPR parking for councils that include Coventry and Croydon.
There is no need to phone or download an app after signing up via the Hozah website, and once registered you can just drive in and out at any time, with accurate parking receipts issued by email or text. It does cost 20p extra per transaction, but this gives convenience for busy drivers and complete peace of mind that a parking fine won’t be incurred, and a guarantee of no hidden costs such a charge for sending text confirmations.
The trial started on 24 October and is due to continue for a year. All other methods of paying for parking are still on offer, with the aim being to assess which customers prefer at the end of the year.
Sign up has been faster than expected and feedback has been positive. If people have any questions or comments on the scheme, they can email parking services.