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Drivers in the south London area of Putney will soon be able to pay their parking fees by mobile phone.

The cash-free service, which uses technology from London-based developer Parkmobile, is aimed at people who make regular trips to Putney in their car. It’s believed to be only the second such scheme in the UK.

A similar scheme launched in Edinburgh last October has proved popular with motorists in the Scottish capital. Some 1,400 people have already registered to use the technology, The Scotsman reports. The Edinburgh project uses technolgy from Irish company Itsmobile.

London calling

It’s hoped the London scheme will take some of the pain out of parking.

Instead of feeding coins into a pay and display machine drivers will be able to make two short phone calls on their mobile - one when they arrive at the parking space and the other when they depart - to pay the relevant fee. During the initial call, punters will be prompted to key in a three-digit code corresponding to the section of road where they are parking. The two calls should cost no more than 10p.

The scheme does away with the need to find the right change or problems sometimes caused in locating a working pay-and-display machine. However the option of using pay-and-display machines will still be available after the mobile scheme begins on February 2.

The cash-free approach is touted as more flexible because drivers will only pay for the time they are parked, so there's no need to rush back to a car when a fee is about to expire.

Drivers can order a special transponder card, which costs £1 a month in addition to parking fees, direct from Parkmobile. The company will then set up a secure payment arrangement.

Motorists would leave a Parkmobile card is fixed in their windscreen when they park. This information allows parking attendants to electronically check whether parking permission has been purchased.

For more information visit Wandsworth Council’s micros-site here.

The service is already operating successfully in eight European cities in The Netherlands and Germany. It will be launched initially within the Putney controlled parking zone on February 2 and could be extended to other parts of Wandsworth providing the scheme is a success.

Parkmobile hopes to launch similar schemes in other parts of London later in the year. ®

External Links

Pay-by-phone parking first for Putney

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m-Payments for Edinburgh parking meters

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