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Last Updated: Thursday, 19 May, 2005, 08:56 GMT 09:56 UK
Car park trials payment by text
Phone
Drivers will be able to extend parking stays by text message
A pay and display car park in Cardiff is trialling a new system where drivers can pay using their mobile phones.

Under the trial at Cardiff Central Station, drivers will register their stay with a text or phone call and pay only for the exact time required.

Similar mobile phone payment systems have already been introduced at car parks in America, Ireland and London.

Under the system, motorists pay for the exact time they need to park using text message or by making a phone call.

The car park trial is due to begin on 23 May.

'Hunt for change'

If a stay over-runs, drivers can extend their parking session with a further text or call, and a reminder text will also be sent before the time expires for their stay to avoid a fine.

Robin Bevan, from Verrus, the company behind the trial, insisted the system was easier to use than the present cash-based system.
Pay and display meter (generic)
The system is designed to replace the pay and display meter

He added: "Right now, at Cardiff Central Station, I think it's 6.50 a day and drivers have to hunt for change.

"If you're going out for three days, you have to find 19.50 in change, you've got to find a meter, you've got to put a ticket in your car and you have no means of extending the session if you overstay and you have no means of reminding you either.

"Phone-based parking tackles all that."

Mr Bevan said the Central Station car park, which is run by private company Apcoa for Arriva Trains, was ideal for the trial of the system.

He said: "Cardiff has been chosen because it's a busy commuter station.

"It has a mix of traffic - it's got cinema goers in the evening and it has shoppers at the weekend so it's a good, busy, car park with a mix of different traffic."

Mr Bevan added that the system had proved successful in North America and said he believed it could prove popular in the UK.

He added: "Most local authorities and most private operators are now looking at this - it's not new technology.

"We have operated this in the States for four years and it's proved enormously popular and is now widespread in North America."

  • Meanwhile, bus passengers across Wales will soon be able to receive texts to their mobiles about when the next service is due.

    All 21,000 bus stops in Wales will be given a designated code for passengers to send.

    The scheme is being introduced by Traveline and is already running at some stops around the University of Glamorgan, Pontypridd.




  • SEE ALSO:
    Phone ban to stop 'text bullies'
    10 Mar 05 |  South East Wales
    Text message record smashed again
    21 Jan 05 |  Technology
    Italy 'text tax' sparks outrage
    13 Nov 04 |  Europe
    Teenagers to get safe sex texts
    10 Nov 04 |  Health


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