App to find empty parking bays in Sheffield

Money being inserted into a car park meter in Sheffield City Centre
Money being inserted into a car park meter in Sheffield City Centre
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Sensors could soon be placed in hundreds of Sheffield city centre parking bays in a bid to help motorists find empty spaces more easily.

Sheffield City Council is looking into trialling new ‘Smart Parking’ technology, following on from similar schemes in London, Birmingham and Manchester.

The system, which could be tested initially on about 500 city centre parking spaces, provides drivers with up-to-date information on the location of empty spaces via a smartphone app.

When motorists reach a free parking space, the technology would link to RingGo, a system which allows people to pay for parking on their phones.

Estimates for the potential costs of introducing the Smart Parking system are currently being drawn up, with the council expected to decide later this year about whether the scheme is feasible.

John Bann, head of transport, traffic and parking services at Sheffield City Council, said the RingGo system is currently only available in the city centre but will be rolled out to all council pay and display machines this year, with the current 20p transaction charge dropped.

He added: “We’re also investigating ‘Smart Parking’ technology which lets drivers know in real-time where parking spaces are available and guides them to the space, just like a sat nav.

“These measures are really important and part of our work to make parking more convenient for people to encourage them to visit the city centre.”

Around 10,000 spaces in London are due to be fitted with the technology following a trial in Westminster.