Thanet’s first ticketless car park goes live today at Trinity Square in Margate.
The digital system reads a motorist’s registration number, via new Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras at the entrance and exit of the car park, allowing users to only pay for the amount of time they are parked for rather than tickets being set by the hour. There are new touchscreen machines for paying by card or apple / android pay as well as cash. The system allows contactless payment at the exit barrier. Regular users of the car park, can register online for an account.
Council leader Bob Bayford said: “Ticketless parking has been used across the country for years but this will be the first in Thanet. We know parking matters to both residents and visitors. In July 2018, car park users across the district told us they wanted a more streamlined and convenient service. The ANPR system being piloted uses the latest technology and will offer exactly that.
“Benefits include paying at the end of your stay; paying only for the time you’ve used; the ability to pay by card; plus the option to set up automatic payments if you are a regular user of the car park. Monitoring Trinity Square throughout the pilot will help us review the success of the scheme and establish the potential for any future roll out to further car parks.”
Blue Badge holders will continue to be able to park for free but must register their vehicle(s) by completing an online form https://thanetparking.co.uk/#bluebadge or by calling 01843 577000. They should continue to display a valid blue badge in their vehicle.
Medical centre users have been considered and there will be a 10 minute ‘grace’ period where users will not be charged. This will allow people to pop in and collect prescriptions or medication.
There are signs around The Limes reminding patients about the 10 minutes free parking. Council officers have also spent the last few weeks at the medical centre speaking to people and notifying regular car park users including Blue Badge holders and local taxi firms about the changes.
The pilot will be reviewed after a six month period and there are no plans to extend the system to any other car parks in the district before that time.