In a move which could transform how residents, visitors and commuters park their car in Cardiff, this week saw the launch of The City of Cardiff Council SmartPark pilot which will test how effective bay sensor technology is for the Welsh Capital. Outside of London, Cardiff is the first city to use this technology in on-street locations.
The deployment sees 225 Smart Parking RFID-equipped SmartEye vehicle detection sensors, linked via SmartLink data transmitters, installed in selected parking bays across the Welsh Capital. The pilot area includes West Grove, The Walk, Museum Avenue, North Road, Museum Place, Park Place, Wellfield Road, Albany Road, Severn Road Car Park and Sofia Gardens Car Park (access road to the car park).
Drivers can also download SmartApp, a dedicated mobile application via their iPhone or Android device. Once downloaded users can search for a specific location by street name or postcode which then returns the closest available parking locations against a satellite map. Once users have selected a parking location the application then interacts with the mobile devices’ GPS navigation system to guide them to the nearest unoccupied bay.
In the first week of the pilot the app has had just over 1,000 downloads, a fantastic result which has generated a positive reaction amongst users. Some of the comments from users of the app were:
“Downloaded from play store. Looks like a useful app.” - @JuHanley, Jul 31
”Such a good idea” - @GuineeInc, Aug 2
“Will come in very handy!” - @Cardiffetcare, Aug 4
The launch of the pilot scheme has not only received a positive reaction from drivers but it has also generated strong media interest from broadcasting and local/trade press, in print, radio and online.
The overall response was positive, delivering a strong message of how the City of Cardiff Council had taken the initiative to make parking easier and more convenient for drivers in the city whilst also decreasing congestion and vehicle emissions. After putting SmartApp to the test South Wales Echo/Wales Online Sam Tegeltija commented “It was very impressive, and I was pleasantly surprised with how accurate it was.” Read the full article here.
On 4th August the project made a headline news on BBC Wales News which was broadcast nationally. The TV and radio news reports actively demonstrated the application in action and emphasised the positive benefits of the scheme to the motorist coming in and out of Cardiff.
Cllr Ramesh Patel, Cabinet Member for Transport, Planning and Sustainability at the City of Cardiff Council, said: “Although our priority is to get as many people to use public transport as possible, city centre parking is also important. I am pleased the implementation of the Smart Parking pilot is complete and we now want as many people to download the free app as possible. If the scheme is successful, the Council will look at all available options to extend the scheme city wide.”
Smart Parking's Group Chief Executive Officer, Paul Gillespie said: “SmartPark is a tried, tested and proven solution that will make it easier for drivers in Cardiff to find a parking space. Customers are able to make better informed decisions about their parking location and change their behaviour by seeking parking availability in less occupied streets close to their desired destination. Not only does this improve the customer experience by reducing the time taken in looking for a parking place. It also indirectly helps to reduce congestion and frees up space for others, making parking in Cardiff easier and more convenient. We’re confident that residents, businesses and visitors to the City will have their driving and parking experience transformed in the months and years ahead.
The simple, easy to use smartphone app makes quick, convenient parking a breeze.
About Smart Parking
Formed in 1993, Smart Parking is now one of the largest and fastest-growing car parking management companies in the UK. Smart Parking specialises in some of the most technically innovative solutions available in the market and continually leads the way in the development and application of these technologies, which they market under the 'Smart' systems brand. They develop industry-leading technology and provide their clients with the very best parking management solutions. Whether you have a large, multi-storey car park, a handful of on-street spaces, an event to marshal or are planning a major car park development, they can help find the smartest solution.