Ticketless car parking is to be trialled in Thanet next year.
Thanet council is to launch a digital parking pilot in one car park, the location of which is yet to be announced.
The authority is working with Canterbury City Council which is rolling out the automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) parking programme following successful trials at four of its car parks.
The system works by using the ANPR technology, touch-screen payment machines, which give change, as well as a contactless card payment point at the exit barrier.
It means motorist only pay for the amount of time they have been parked rather than tickets being set by the hour.
Council leader Bob Bayford said: “One of the things residents told us was that they wanted to pay for exactly the time they were parked, rather than by the hour, which led either to people rushing back to meet a deadline or paying for time they didn’t use.
“This can be achieved with ANPR. Interestingly, evidence suggests that people park and pay for longer under the new system.
“There will also be more options for paying. Payment can be made by card, Apple pay, Android pay and Auto-pay (rather like the DART charge) where people can ‘drive in/drive out’ and money is automatically taken from their account. People can also pay by cash. In the Canterbury pilot, many thousands used an online registration system to open an account so that they didn’t have to use pay stations when they parked.”
Thanet council says the scheme will mean less need for enforcement. In the Canterbury pilot the number of Penalty Charge Notices went down by 92%, there was more income from people parking for longer periods and improved security because there is less cash to handle.
The city council is rolling now rolling the scheme out to 16 car parks across the district.
Cllr Bayford added: “Parking is an ongoing issue which affects residents, visitors and businesses and continually improving our offer will have far reaching benefits.”
The trial car park location will be announced after residents and businesses affected by the change have been consulted.