A new parking mobile phone application has officially entered a pilot phase today – 28 January 2019.
The system is being installed for Harrogate town centre by AppyParking and allows drivers to see available parking spaces and then be billed per minute once you park via the app.
It uses parking sensors to detect a vehicle arriving and leaving. There is an initial 30p charge and then charges are per minute, up to the maximum stay in each zone.
It’s not a compulsory system and it is believed to be helpful to new visitors to the town as they will be guided to an empty space.
There is also a gain to people parking with 1-minute parking increments meaning a reduction in overpaying.
Councillor Phil Ireland, Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet member for sustainable transport, said:
We want to make parking easier and more convenient for people, as well as providing a parking solution that helps encourage people to visit Harrogate town centre. This is not only the first of its kind in Yorkshire but the UK as well.
These days so many services and payments are carried out on a smartphone, it’s only right that parking is part of that. Gone will be the days of running back to your car just before your ticket runs out!
It also supports the key priorities of our plan to build a strong local economy, provide excellent public services as well as a sustainable environment. We look forward to seeing the scheme in action, assessing its performance over the 18-month pilot period and receiving feedback from people who use it.
North Yorkshire County Councillor Don Mackenzie, executive member for access, said:
We continue to seek innovative ways to improve traffic flow in Harrogate. This system should mean users travel shorter distances looking for a parking space, which will help us to improve the environment and traffic management.
A big benefit is that it is an attraction for visitors. If they have the app, they won’t need to worry about parking. They can be guided to an available space. The visitor and leisure economy is so important to Harrogate and this will give the town yet another unique selling point.
Dan Hubert, CEO and founder of AppyParking, said:
We’re really excited AppyParking has come to the streets and car parks of Harrogate. Our aim is to make parking forgettable and this project, with forward-thinking and supportive partners in Harrogate Borough Council and North Yorkshire County Council, has helped us achieve this. We are now looking forward to delivering smart parking across the country.
The pilot will last for 18-months.
The smart parking system is the first stage in a project to make Harrogate a smart town, which will involve creating a free public Wi-Fi network in the urban area.
In the longer term, this could enable such things as touchscreen information kiosks and a wayfinding app for visitors and allow traffic flow and air quality to be monitored to inform decisions to address any issues.
Systems trialled in Harrogate could be extended to other parts of North Yorkshire in the future.