Pay by Phone for Portsmouth Park and Ride
An innovative new payment method is being introduced for Portsmouth City Council's park and ride scheme. From today (15 May), motorists parking at the 1000 space Lakeside North Harbour site, can use the RingGo park-and-ride service to pay a combined £2.80 fee per car, using just their mobile phone and a credit or debit card. The payment system is the first of its kind in the UK.
The new service is an extension of RingGo phone parking, which has been offered alongside Portsmouth Council pay-and-display parking since July 2007. To pay for their park and ride, motorists call the local RingGo Portsmouth number (023 9298 0098) and quote the special location code 1398, which is shown clearly on signs and posters in the car park. Once they have completed the payment, they are sent a text message confirming their booking, which they show to the driver to allow them access to the bus.
Cash payments are still accepted at machines in the car park but, with fees requiring users to carry a reasonable amount of change, the new service is expected to prove popular, according to Sarah Earl, RingGo Account Manager for Portsmouth.
She comments "Portsmouth was one of the first UK local authorities to adopt RingGo cashless parking and people have taken to it really well. We've seen good usage here, which suggests the new RingGo park-and-ride scheme will be popular too."
"At the end of the day, gathering and carrying change is a hassle, so offering credit or debit card payments by phone is a great option" she continues. "Compared with the cost of offering card payments at the machine, there's hardly any expense for the council, not to mention the benefits in terms of less cash to collect, process and bank."
Michael Robinson, Portsmouth City Council's deputy parking manager is obviously pleased at the new introduction. "The park and ride service from North Harbour has been operating for just over a year," he says. "It has been popular with both residents and visitors. We're keen to increase take up, and making the service easier to pay for will be a big help."
"This is the third service we've developed and launched with RingGo in Portsmouth - and two of them have been UK firsts. Given the number of park and ride services available around the country, this latest innovation is definitely one we expect to be copied elsewhere too."