Initial response from motorists and businesses to the first installation of the newly launched metric mobile pay by mobile phone system has been 'extremely positive.'
North Dorset District Council, based in Blandford Forum, Dorset, is trialling metric mobile in nine of its car parks and a further three coach parks across its district.
Not only are motorists said to be keen on the new system of paying for parking, but local businesses have expressed 'real excitement' about encouraging shoppers to stay for longer in the town centres as the service allows users to extend parking when they are in the shops.
Richard Boultbee, Metric Parking's UK sales and marketing manager, said the introduction of metric mobile to their portfolio of parking products meant that customers now had the biggest ever choice of parking options and he was delighted that North Dorset District Council, a loyal metric customer over many years, were keen to be the first to use the new service.
Richard said: "Metric mobile is the latest option to allow the public to pay for their parking, users pay for their time via their mobile phone using a credit or debit card. We are delighted that the first installation has been so well received and that the initial feedback has been so very positive because the benefits for the customer are instant. The benefits of metric mobile are clear. There is no need for change and topping up whilst away from the car park and for the parking operator the benefits include an online web service to audit and track usage."
North Dorset District Council also ordered metric mobile because of its flexibility and the cost savings it will offer them. The Council has car parks where one ticket can be used in as many as three similar ones.
Richard said: "We replicated this on the metric mobile system, something which no other provider was able to do. North Dorset also has coach parking which has been accommodated within the metric mobile service so the enforcement officers can differentiate between coach and no coach payments. As they offer season tickets and permits, this was the first stage on looking at offering North Dorset with an e-permit solution which we hope will happen in due course."
Councillor Deborah Croney, responsible for economy at North Dorset District Council said: "We are reviewing every aspect of car parking in North Dorset to make sure that customers get the best possible service and that local traders benefit from greater flexibility offered to car park users. The metric mobile payment service helps in every respect and we are delighted to be leading the way with this trial."
North Dorset enforcement officers have been trained on the metric mobile system and are now armed with leaflets to help promote the service in car parks in Blandford Forum, Sturminster Newton and Shaftesbury, offering motorists short stay to long stay parking options.