The Roads and Local Transport Minister, Richard Holden, has written to every local authority Chief Executive urging them to join the new National Parking Platform.
The NPP is a Department for Transport-led initiative to simplify parking payment, with four primary functions. These are 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.
In his letter, Mr Holden calls the NPP “a win for all concerned”. He writes: “Users get less frustration, more choice and an open marketplace where apps compete based on the quality of their service. Local authorities can unlock a wider range of services, get better data about their areas and automate routine functions – all without the need to procure. Parking apps get access to a wider market that we expect will grow to cover services beyond parking.”
After the NPP was successfully piloted in Manchester, more local authorities are taking part with Oxfordshire County Council extending its operation and Liverpool joining.
Oxfordshire County Council were the second authority (after Manchester) to join the NPP with 150 parking spaces on Oxford Street. The success of this trial has given the council the confidence to extend their use of the NPP to approximately 40 other Pay & Display parking operations across the County.
Liverpool City Council has taken the decision to use the NPP for all its ‘pay on arrival’ parking – both on and off-street. Ken Prior, Head of Parking at Liverpool, first used the NPP at Cheshire West and Chester Council and has become a keen advocate of the platform.
Mr Holden tells Local Authorities that using the NPP is is not mandatory – all local authorities have a choice about whether or not to join, but that he encourages them to do so now because it automatically connects them to all participating apps at once, without the need for complex procurement, it is not limited to parking and could in future include EV charging, residents’ parking and kerbside management, will join up data and attract tourists by giving them an easier experience.
The Government is waiving joining fees for authorities who express their interest in becoming members, provided they do so by Easter 2024.
The Department for Transport will be promoting the National Parking Platform at Highways UK.