Thats not much help for the free car parking scheme in Marple.
Tell me about it! We only found out about this at the beginning of the week and I nearly exploded with rage!! We have signed contracts and have limited scope to adapt the scheme for this new payment method as the scheme goes live in about 2 weeks!
I had a meeting (along with the MBF Chair) with SMBC yesterday to discover exactly what was going to be implemented. They are introducing a system where visitors can pay for their car parking via mobile phone (called 'Paygo').
This is an additional payment option alongside the currently established method (i.e. coins). There will be no increased cost to paying by this method.
In urban areas where the Paygo system has been active for while the precentage of parking charges paid this way is around 20% (but it takes time to get to that level). It is anticipated that the take-up in Marple will considerably lower than that.
SMBC are introducing it mainly for Stockport Town Centre, but it is more efficient (and sensible) to roll it out across the whole Borough at the same time.
Therefore, for the time being, the MBF Car Park Rebate Scheme will go live in current format and we will review the effect of Paygo towards the end of the first contract cycle. Unfortunately, that means anyone choosing to pay for their parking via Paygo will be unable to claim a refund from one of the participating businesses (as you will need the voucher that will be printed with your parking ticket from the machines).
For more information on the Car Park Rebate Scheme please see: http://www.marplebusinessforum.co.uk/car-park-rebate-scheme.html
. (Please note the list of participating members is not exhaustive at this time - businesses are signing up on a daily basis at the moment)
On a similar topic, SMBC are also in the process of reviewing the Car Parking bands (currently 30p for up to 2 hours / £1.50 all day) with an intention of updating them in the Autumn. They have stated they aren't looking to increase revenue from any band changes but are looking at whether they can make them better for visitors and businesses alike.
We are currently involved in these discussions with the general consenus being that a third payment band would be useful in one of the two following forms:
- a third band of parking up to 4 hours at a cost of around 60p with the other bands to remain as they are, or
- to change the bands to 1. First two hours free 2. Parking up to 4 hours 3. Parking all day (to offset cost of the free parking band there would need to be an increase the costs of the other two bands) NOTE: This is the least likely option to be implemented (although most prefferable) as it would be feared that people would get the free 2 hour parking ticket and then if need be go back and get another free 2 hour ticket, and so on, and so on...
Any thoughts on this?