Westminster readies 'wave and pay' parking meters
No more texting the phoneline
Westminster City Council is to trial "wave and pay" parking meters.
Drivers with contactless debit or credit cards will be able to wave them at the relevant meter from the New Year. The technology - being used for the first time in the UK - will be trialled on 20 meters in the West End, but could be extended if it is successful.
The technology comes from Parkeon and has been tested and trialled over 18 months. Southampton Council is also interested in the technology.
There are over four million contactless cards in circulation in the UK.
Currently some Westminster machines have Chip and PIN readers attached. The vast majority require you to pay by mobile phone, which can be quite a hassle, especially when you first set up an account. Westminster is the largest parking authority in the UK - half a million vehicles enter the area each day.
Old style coin meters, which had a 50 year run, were removed from Westminster in March 2009 because of increasing fraud. The council was losing over £100,000 a week because the machines were targeted by Cool Hand Luke-style thieves. The gangs used power saws and angle grinders to cut them in half and helped themselves to the coins inside. ®
Lovely! New technology ... new opportunities for fraud
Check the classified, soon they wll be advertising hacker parking cards and Westminsters income will drop still further.
Ever heard of coin of the realm?
I'll just chip in with my experience of parking wardens. We had just resurfaced a stretch of road in North London and parked the tarmac paver on the previous days resurfaced road. Came back the next day to find a warden had climbed up on to the black, oily, greasy diesel stinking machine to slap a ticket on it. Now, if we don't create the road in the first place, just what are they going to be enforcing? Muppets.
I'd also second the idea of NOT paying. I suspect the self levelling effect would be that you get to park just fine.
Automatic numberplate recognition is all over London. Automatic man-carrying-an-anglegrinder recognition is still a bit of a way off.
I think the anglegrinder gangs would have been more welcomed as liberators if they'd cut down Congestion Charge and Bus Lane cameras - but there'd be no money in that unless they were working for street furniture manufacturers (who already have more work than they can cope with from TfL's and the borough's war on roadspace), Chopping down a parking meter is scarcely a liberation since then the parking space becomes the equivalent of one more double yellow until it is replaced.