Councillors asked to back “cashless” parking trial in Market Square

COUNCILLORS on the Kincardine and Mearns area committee will be asked to back a six-month trial of “cashless” parking in Stonehaven’s Market Square.

The scheme would allow customers to pay for parking without needing cash or coins, by registering to use the service with a cashless parking operator - including details of their car registration and payment details.

Customers would then phone or text the details of the car park they are parking in, using the unique location number displayed on signs within the park, and the duration of their stay.

The tariff and length of stay for the car park is contained in a database held by the

cashless parking operator and users are charged the appropriate amount.

A report due to go before councillors states: “Given the need to replace the current machines and also in light of the economic pressures to reduce council spending, a review has been undertaken to investigate new systems in the market which could increase the efficiency of Pay & Display parking in council car parks.”

Parkmobile - a cashless operating supplier with over 150 contracts in the UK - has offered the council the trial period free of charge in order to see the impact of the system and the level of uptake amongst customers.

The proposed trial would use a “Buy Time” system which mirrors the Pay & Display system - customers would phone the operator and state the length of stay they would like. If they wish to extend their stay, they can phone up the operator again without having to return to the car.

Enforcement officers would be sent information of the vehicles who were “currently active” on a handheld device, allowing them to identify those which had not paid and issue them with excess notice charges.

The Pay & Display system will remain in place for the duration of the six-month trial period.

Members of the Stonehaven and District Community Council flagged up several concerns over the proposal, including the fact that it assumes everyone has access to a mobile phone.