4 July 2023| | 2 min read
Council parking services set to switch to new payment system
Changes to the way people pay for parking in Newcastle are to be introduced across the city following consultation.
Payments using cash will be gradually phased out from all council-owned car parks and on-street parking locations as ticket machines are upgraded to accept cards and the PayByPhone service is expanded to cover all locations.
Newcastle City Council carried out consultation on proposals for cashless parking earlier this year, including seeking feedback from Newcastle Disability Forum and the Elders’ Council, to understand and respond to any concerns.
The changes are part of proposals to make the council’s parking service more efficient and cost-effective while better meeting the needs of customers.
Cllr Jane Byrne, cabinet member for a connected, clean city at Newcastle City Council, said: “The majority of our car park users already prefer cashless payments so we are keen to make this available at all of our parking locations.
“We have looked closely at the feedback we received and we know that not everyone will be confident about using alternative payment methods.
“However, while cash payments will not be available, people will still have a choice in how to pay for their parking, either using a card, by telephone or by using a smart phone app.
“We will be offering support, including video tutorials or one-to-one assistance, to anyone who needs it.
“We believe this is the right thing to do to modernise our parking services and provide flexibility to customers.”
Data shows that the majority of people already prefer to use cashless payments, with PayByPhone transactions increasing from 1.5m in 2018/19 to 2.9m in 2022/23 and card machine transactions increasing from 200,000 to 332,000 during the same period.
As part of the changes, the PayByPhone service will be expanded to cover all locations. This service enables people to add extra time to their parking if needed without having to go back to the ticket machine.
The option to pay by card will also be made available at all car parks and on-street bays, giving people a choice of payment methods at all locations.
At on-street parking areas, people will be able to use a card to pre-pay for parking when they arrive.
This pre-payment option will also be provided in every council-run car park – including those with no maximum stay restrictions, which is a slight change to the original proposals following the consultation.
A further card payment option – known as check in check out, which allows people to pay for the exact amount of time used when they leave – will also be available at car parks where there are no maximum stay restrictions.
People who don’t have bank cards, can use pre-paid cards which are widely available and can be topped up via a range of outlets.
Blue badge holders will still park for free in the on-street car parking bays.
Work will get underway in the coming months to begin upgrading ticket machines and rolling out the PayByPhone service to cover all locations.