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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 June 2007, 09:10 GMT 10:10 UK
Technology evicts parking meters
Drivers can extend their stay without returning to their vehicle
Parking meters are to be scrapped in central London in favour of a pay-by-phone system.

Westminster Council said it had decided to take out all meters by October and introduce the cashless scheme after a successful pilot last year.

Registered motorists pay by inputting their details, via a phone call or text, which are transmitted to parking attendants' hand-held computers.

The council said it hoped it would help eliminate theft and fraud.

Top-up facility

A recent survey carried out on behalf of a number of central London boroughs found 60% of customers were in favour of replacing meters.

The results showed 77% of people were satisfied with paying by phone and 35% said the biggest benefits were the coin-free process and top-up facility.

Westminster Council's Danny Chalkley said there was overwhelming support for the scheme.

"Being able to top-up your meter on the move without returning to your vehicle provides greater flexibility for motorists and helps them avoid unnecessary fines," he said.

"While the parking meter has a long and distinguished history in the city stretching back almost 50 years, it looks like it has finally had its day."

Motorists need to set themselves up with a pay by phone parking account, either via a website at home or a mobile phone or SMS text on the street.

If they are delayed returning to car they can top up their parking fee without the need to return to the vehicle.

The council said those unable to use pay-by-phone would find pay-and-display facilities in the vicinity.

Mixed reactions to the disappearance of parking meters

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20 Apr 07 |  London
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15 Jul 06 |  Dorset
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20 Nov 05 |  North Yorkshire

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