Headlines: September 23rd, 2008

After almost half a century of service, coin-operated parking meters are being removed by Westminster City Council and they will finally disappear early next year. Pay by Phone parking was first introduced two years ago and it currently handles almost 100,000 transactions per week.

Motorists can now pay for their parking via a mobile phone call or text when using any of the council’s 8,500 parking bays across central London. Motorists can also use any of the council’s credit card payment machines.

The switch away from coin operated machines to cashless parking will save the council 9 million pounds each year. The savings come from the removal of the need for expensive maintenance and the elimination of the risk of theft. Before the introduction of cashless parking the council was losing up to 120,000 pounds per week through thefts of coin-operated meters.

Cashless payment has also proved popular with motorists who see it as convenient, fast, and a cost-effective way to pay for parking.

As the largest parking authority in the UK, Westminster has become the ‘blueprint’ for improving parking services and has over the last three years introduced more than a dozen innovative initiatives aimed at keeping traffic moving around the capital.