A new report suggests local authorities are unaware of potentially revolutionary changes to parking payments in the UK.
The Local Government Information Unit report “Parking Strategies and Innovation” explores the topic of parking strategies and if and how councils are preparing for forthcoming innovations and new developments to parking infrastructure.
It found that the majority of council decision makers were unaware of potential changes to local authority parking. It focussed on the National Parking Platform (NPP) which has the potential to transform procurement of parking by opening up the market and giving choice to the individual motorist for the first time, and in doing so it has the potential to bring benefits to local authorities, including cost savings from lowered procurement costs.
The DfT-led initiative has four primary functions – to provide simplified and improved customer service, a data exchange to enable multi-seller payments, a way of sharing parking information and standardising technical and commercial relations.
However the LGIU survey found a 36% of respondents and never even heard of the NPP, 44% did not know about the open market model and nearly 80% want more government explanation of the model.
This has disappointed technology innovators. Dr Sai Lakshmi, CEO & Founder of Caura, which provides seamless payments for motoring, including city charges, tolls, VED, insurance and maintenance, told Highways News: “We have been enthusiastically supporting the trial of the UK National Parking Platform, so it is disappointing to see how many people working in parking remain unaware of this ground-breaking initiative.
“This means local authorities are really missing an opportunity to streamline their parking services, make payments easier, reduce congestion and, importantly for them, make it easier to collect revenue.
“I would welcome a wider campaign to promote the NPP because I know the concept will drive considerable benefits for society. Once we explained the NPP, local authorities we spoke to like the ability for their customers to choose apps and cost-savings this brings for them and their citizens.
“Our app – Caura – already does a host of motoring related services – including booking and paying for city charges, tolls, VED, insurance and maintenance – all in one place, so are keen to integrate into NPP once it’s available.
“This is the sort of drive friendly policy government should be pushing right now and I believe the whole parking payment industry will support efforts to promote the NPP and make an element of driving that is often a headache into something much easier to manage.”
You can read the full report here.
(Picture – Caura)