CALLING all Tamworth motorists, a new cashless parking scheme which is being trialled for 18 months will enable you to pay for your car parking in the town centre using your mobile phone.
The ‘Phone and Pay’ cashless parking scheme, provided by Bemrose Mobile, will be tested out in all nine of Tamworth’s council-run car parks starting this weekend– and may become permanent if it is a success.
The 18-month trial will provide motorists with a quick, easy and safe way to pay for parking in advance.
Users will then receive text confirmation that parking has been booked and a reminder when the session is due to expire.
Motorists will also have the facility to extend parking sessions via phone, text or app, allowing shoppers and visitors to the town centre to stay longer in the town centre without having to return to their cars.
During the 18 months of the trial, the existing pay and display machines will still be in operation in the car parks, giving motorists the option to continue paying by cash.
The cashless system will also provide a boost to hotel guests, visitors and commuters by providing on overnight stay option, which means motorists can pay to park overnight without fear of penalty.
The cashless parking trial was approved by members of the Council’s Cabinet at a meeting on Thursday evening (January 23).
Cllr Rob Pritchard, cabinet member for operations and assets, said: "Cashless parking is a much more flexible system, which we hope will make things easier for motorists and will encourage them to stay for longer in the town centre.
"It will also provide a boost to traders, hotels and restaurants, as visitors will not have to rush back to their cars to avoid a parking ticket. It is a quick and secure way to pay for parking, which will be of benefit to motorists and the town centre."
A spokesperson for Bemrose Mobile added: “We are thrilled to be rolling out our service in all council-run car parks on Tamworth.
"'Phone and Pay’ is a quick and secure way to pay for parking and once a motorist has used the system, their details will be retained for future use, making parking even more convenient.”
The trial will not cost Tamworth Borough Council anything, as the equipment, signage and software will be provided free of charge by Bemrose Mobile.
Cabinet members also approved an 18-month trial of an Automatic Number Plate Recognition System at Tamworth’s three busiest car parks – Bolebridge Island, Aldergate and Holloway.
The trial will start in April and will involve the installation of ANPR cameras and new pay and display machines at the three car parks. The cameras will recognise the number plate of vehicles and log the time of entry and purchase of a pay and display ticket or cashless transaction.
The ANPR trial is being funded by a £50,000 government grant through Bemrose Mobile.
The results of both trials will be studied at the end of the 18-month period. If the systems prove to be a success, Tamworth Borough Council would look to go out to tender for a permanent provider.