Wave and Pay parking comes to the UK

Motorists in the UK will for the first time be able to pay to park their cars just by waving a credit or debit card at a meter.
The new "wave and pay" technology - which is being trialled by Westminster City Council in central London - is set to eliminate the need to carry around pocketfuls of cash or enter chip and pin details to pay to park, and will complement the council's already cashless parking scheme.

Instead, motorists with "contactless" credit or debit cards can simply swipe them across a contactless reader attached to the parking machine.
This is the first time the technology has been used to pay for parking in the UK. The smartcard technology is similar to the Oyster Card which is widely used by millions of commuters on London's transport network. Drivers, however, will not have to top-up or buy weekly or monthly permits as the payment is automatically debited to their debit or credit card. The technology will be trialled by Westminster for three months across 20 pay and display machines in the West End, which will be modified and fitted with wave and pay card readers.
Contactless Strada (Image 3a)_2.jpgDanny Chalkley, Westminster's cabinet member for city management, said: "We believe Westminster's role in pioneering wave and pay technology could play a vital role in modernising the way motorists pay to park across the UK. "We think this new way of parking has the potential to be the model for the future of parking because it is so very easy and convenient to use." The pilot will begin in the New Year and if successful could be expanded across Westminster.

Southampton City Council also has plans to implement the wave and pay scheme early next year. Other local authorities are watching the trial and may embrace the technology if it is a success.

The equipment has been designed and developed by parking systems manufacturer Parkeon and marks the culmination of 18 months of research, development and testing. Parkeon, which operates in 40 countries worldwide, said Westminster was the first council in the UK to use the new wave and pay system.

Bob Barnes, Parkeon's UK parking director, said: We are delighted to be trialling the use of wave and pay cards in on-street parking terminals within Westminster before the technology is made available nationally.

The contactless card revolution will soon be upon us, with more than four million such cards already issued.
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