Harrow residents can now park free for 20 minutes as part of a new on-street parking strategy developed by Harrow Council to help boost the town centre economy.
New terminals, provided by leading parking technology specialists Parkeon, will enable motorists to enter their car number plate details and qualify for free parking if staying for 20 minutes or less, or pay for an extended period. This approach – known as 'forced rotation' - has the dual benefit of encouraging a faster turnover of spaces while increasing the total number of visitors to town centre locations.
The council expects the scheme, which involves the installation of 112 Parkeon Strada parking machines over the next three months, to benefit both local residents and town centre traders.
The first 13 have been installed in Rayners Lane, Harrow, where Council Leader Cllr Susan Hall saw the effect at first hand.
Cllr Hall said: "I'm confident we have got the right technology solution in place to ensure we have a parking system which is robust. The idea is to ensure drivers can call in to local shops every day for a brief period without paying, and it is open to them to pay a top up fee if they do want to stay a bit longer.
"As this upgrade is rolled out across the borough, I hope this will prove a boost to our local traders and out-of-town shopping centres. "
The new machines are easy to use as Anne Tinsley, Parkeon Regional Sales Manager, explains: "Entering the registration number into the Strada machine logs the vehicle details within Parkeon's Parkfolio central management system. In the case of vehicles parked free of charge, the information will prevent the same vehicle being parked free for a second time in a different area of the qualifying zone within the 'no return' period.
"The overall effect will be an improvement in on-street parking space availability and a consequent increase in visitors to the town centre, which is good news for local businesses. It's a true 'win-win' for the local community."
The next phase of the installation programme will be in North Harrow in April, with the remaining machines being installed and fully operational throughout April and early May. Some of the machines will replace existing terminals, while others will be located in new on-street sites.
Parkeon is a key player in the sector of urban mobility. By providing a single offer encompassing parking management solutions and ticketing solutions for public transport, Parkeon is now present in 55 countries and is accelerating its growth in emerging markets such as Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America. Parkeon’s capacity for continuous innovation is demonstrated every day. Systems and equipment provided by Parkeon facilitate management and mobility in more than 3000 cities. Parkeon employs over 1,000 employees worldwide and achieved revenues of 168 million euros in 2012.