City parking: government benefits of going digital
More than 18,000 parking tickets were handed to British drivers every day in 2018, with each penalty charge costing up to £100. According to RAC Foundation analysis of government data, this marks the highest total on record for one quarter and represents a 20% increase year-on-year. Though the reasons for motorists to be handed penalties will vary, public perception of government authorities can be negative.
In cities where demand outstrips supply – including London, Bath and Brighton – a streamlined, and user-friendly permit offering can transform public opinion. Digital parking and permit solutions give local government authorities and agencies the opportunity to improve traffic flow in their cities and better manage and define parking and permit guidelines.
Revitalise old infrastructure
Many parking licenses and permits are still handled through old fashioned methods and it is not uncommon for citizens to be forced to visit a local city office to apply for a simple residential parking permit. At a time when flights, tickets and passports can all be managed and purchased digitally – why not parking and permits?
According to UK Finance, 2019 will be the year debit cards overtake cash as the most frequently used payment method. Investing in mobile technology that supports changing consumer behaviours shows local authorities are listening and responding to the needs of their citizens.
Meet expectations of the public
Parking and permit needs differ from council to council, depending on the availability of parking spaces and size of community. There is no “one size fits all” – but paper work processes and old-fashioned applications are difficult to change overnight.
A digital permit system – such as MiPermit - makes it simpler for residents to update their details quickly and efficiently, but also for local authorities to manage queries. Each new applications or renewal transaction generates a digital record that gives authorities much more transparency and a stronger audit trail.
Cut your costs
While user satisfaction is a driving force for the adoption of smart city applications, many local authorities still require a return on investment. Flexible and innovative digital parking solutions streamline costly demonstrative duties. Our MiPermit solution does not require someone to count the cash, issue the permits and ensure the right permit was used. It can all be done in the application.
With the help of our digital solutions, Colchester Borough Council moved from spending more than half a million pounds a year on parking to generating a surplus of one million pounds in just seven years, saving more than £40,000 in stationery costs alone. By facilitating mobile payments in car parks, local authorities can also greatly decrease their reliance on physical parking equipment - spending less on cash collection and machine maintenance.
Peace of mind with digital permits
It is common for residents to apply for the wrong permits and find themselves parked unlawfully. Managing disputes of this type is a timely process. Digital parking solutions significantly reduce the number of personnel focused on settling such parking issues. With fast and easy access to the most up to date permit information online or via mobile, it is far simpler for residents to have access to the right permit. While transparency between the user and local authority will also improve with a stronger audit trail showing a detailed digital record of all communication.
Permit and parking records can even be integrated directly with parking inspectors’ machines so they are unable to issue a penalty notice unless a car is in breach. This reduces the administration associated with managing enquiries and disputes and raises the perception of local authorities with members of the public.
If you want to find out more about our parking and traffic management IT solutions, click here.
For more information about MiPermit, click here.