RingGo ties-up in Portsmouth

Portsmouth City Council, has announced plans to rollout phone parking as a payment option in all of the pay and display car parks and street bays across the city from Thursday 2nd August.
The initial phase of the implementation will take place in the on-street and off-street sea-front parking areas. This will be followed by implementation in the other six pay and display car parks. Finally, over 200 on-street Pay & Display machines will be altered to display RingGo signage. These machines serve street bays in the four major controlled parking zones of Cosham, North End, Southsea and Portsmouth itself. Every one of the street and Pay and Display parking spaces across the city, will offer the option of RingGo mobile phone parking by the close of August 2007.

Councillor Alex Bentley, the city council's executive member for traffic and transportation, explains the decision. "The city has been looking at various cashless parking options for a while, but is now convinced that the ease of use of RingGo makes it the best choice for the citizens of Portsmouth. We also were mindful of the future needs of the many visitors to Portsmouth who may have never used phone parking before. The solution has to be clear and quick and flexible so that they can park, pay and then enjoy the many attractions such as Spinnaker Tower, Gunwharf Quays and the Historic Dockyard at their leisure."

The area to be covered by RingGo includes the car parking spaces of the Esplanades. These are often used by tourists who find these engaging attractions tempt them to stay for considerably longer than they had originally planned. It is therefore anticipated that the 'phone back to extend' option within RingGo, which allows motorists to buy more parking time without returning to their vehicle, will be very popular.

Ken Ellcombe, Portsmouth's Head of Parking summarised the implementation project "We've been tracking the developments in Phone Parking and it has without doubt come of age. RingGo is the ideal offering to serve this city. We have studied similar schemes in other parts of the country which have shown that using speech recognition capability to capture the number plate details and also offering the service on a low-cost local number are important issues for motorists. These key features have been included in this service."

"To begin with RingGo is being offered simply as a payment alternative. The great advantage being that there is no need for cash. It may, in time, allow us to reduce the amount of street machinery as well as, from the start, supporting motorists who to may wish to make their payment from the privacy of their car."

Although RingGo is familiar to visitors to the South Coast following its introduction in off-street car parks in Bournemouth and Christchurch, Portsmouth becomes one of the first local authorities to offer RingGo mobile phone parking in all of its on-street and off-street bays.
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