Pay by phone parking introduced in Belfast

From Monday 31th January Belfast residents and visitors will no longer have to rely on the change in their pocket for parking around the city. Cashless parking, using a mobile phone to make a payment for parking, is being trialled in all on-street parking spaces across the city of Belfast and in the pay and display car parks in Exchange St, Lancaster Street and Dunbar Street. Cashless parking is a convenient way of to pay for parking without the need for coins.
It works simply by making a very short phone call at the start and end of a parking session. Payment is taken on either a credit or debit card at the end of the month. Customers register for the service either online or over the phone. Once registered, customers make one phone call to start their parking and another to stop it on their return to their vehicle . Customers are free to go about their business safe in the knowledge that their parking payment is taken care of until their return. As customers can stop their parking as soon as they return to their car they are only charged for the time they actually use - which many drivers find saves them money, even taking the 15p administration fee into account.

Peter ODriscoll from Parkmobile, who supply the system, commented: Most people dont know how long they are going to stay when they park in a city centre with this system you only pay for the amount of time youve parked.

Simon Richardson, Head of Roads Service 's Parking Enforcement Unit commented : The

introduction of this new service has been designed to make it easier for motorists to pay for parking as it removes the need to carry the correct amount of change . With Parkmobiles start/stop approach motorists no longer have to accurately predict the length of their stay. This will free up people parking in the city from having to pop back to top up their ticket if they want to stay longer , provided they do not exceed the maximum permitted stay period shown on the signs . Simon welcomed the introduction of the trial. Cashless payment systems are widely used in many UK cities, but we are not sure what the demand will be here . We want to make it easier for people to pay for parking so we hope this will be welcomed by drivers. If this trial shows there is a demand for the system, we will give serious consideration to introducing a permanent cashless payment system in the future.

Tim Cowen of NSL, which employs Belfasts Traffic Attendants on behalf of Roads Service, commented: Pay by phone parking is extremely convenient, because it saves you having to worry about having enough change for the parking machine. Drivers will still have the opportunity to pay in cash if they prefer but we think that many will be converted when they see how easy the system is. He added that all Belfasts Traffic Attendants will be able to explain to drivers how the system works. Its really easy once you get the hang of it so we will be very happy to show people how to do it.
NSL Services Group
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