Reigate & Banstead Borough Council is removing some pay-and-display machines from use to “encourage” users to switch to cashless service RingGo.
Cllr James Durrant, Porfolio Holder for Enforcement, told the council’s executive committee on 26 January:
“One of the things we’ve been doing over the past couple of months has been to cover up some of the pay-and-display machines within the car parks to encourage people to take up the use of RingGo.”
Gavin Handford, Head of Corporate Policy, Performance & Parking, said there had been a significant increase in the number of new RingGo registrations and users.
Motorists have to pay a 20p convenience charge if they use RingGo via phone, website or downloadable app.
Although the extra payment goes to RingGo, the council benefits when motorists switch to the service: the pay-and-display machines have maintenance and collection costs.
The meeting in January was about plans to upgrade the machines in the future. The new equipment would have a contactless payment option, and at Bancroft Road the car park would change to pay-on-exit.
Earlier this week, reigate.uk asked the council about the current covering up of machines. The council responded:
“Many of our residents are already using cashless parking and we would like to encourage more people to utilise the benefits cashless parking gives them.
Covering a proportion of cash parking machines is something we are currently trialling and we’ll listen closely to feedback from residents before making final decisions about parking machines in the borough.
It should also be noted that where possible, the machines covered are not heavy-usage machines (for example, situated on a permit-only floor of a multi storey car park).
Cashless parking saves the council money as it decreases maintenance and cash collection costs for cash parking machines. These savings can then be used on other Council services.
Some people may still prefer to pay by cash and there is still a cash parking machine available in every car park. If cash machines are broken, they are repaired as soon as possible.”
The council added:
“There is a planned upgrade to machines across the borough which will offer an even wider range of payment options – covering some machines also helps us to plan the best strategy for this replacement of machines, with a view to provide an excellent customer experience while ensuring budget is efficiently spent.”
As regards Reigate town centre, reigate.uk carried out a quick survey yesterday evening:
- one of the two machines in the Upper West Street car park was covered and carrying the promotion;
- both machines in the Bell Street car park appeared to be working;
- the machine at the town hall appeared to be working;
- in the Bancroft Road multi-storey, the various machines fell into three categories: working, out of order, or covered and carrying the promotion.
Our previous article on the Bancroft Road pay-on-exit plans
Our previous article about a council competition to win a month’s free parking
Read the committee report about future plans to upgrade machines (opens PDF)
Watch the committee’s discussion on the council’s website.