Katy Griffin, Reporter
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Honiton’s Lace Walk car park is to try out a new text message payment system,
A text message payment system is to be piloted in Lace Walk car park in a bid to stop “clock watching” and encourage people to spend more money in Honiton.
The new cashless payment option, RingGo, will allow car park users to pay for parking using a mobile phone.
East Devon district councillor Phil Twiss revealed the new plans at a meeting of Honiton Town Council last week following a review carried out on the district’s car parks.
He said: “People can text and pay for the car park, which is a very good system.
“There are a lot of problems parking in the area with people clock watching and not spending enough money in the shops, restaurants and cafes.”
The meeting heard motorists who choose the text option of payment would receive a text message warning them their time is running out where they will then be asked if they would like to top up.
However, Councillor Twiss reassured members of the town council that car park users could still use coin payments at the machines.
During the meeting he was asked why a pay on exit system was not introduced instead, which he admitted would have been “more expensive” to implement.
Business leaders had hoped to see a barrier system installed.
Councillor Twiss also moved to reassure the council that parking charges would not be affected as a result and those with parking permits would also be unaffected.
As part of the RingGo system, the car park user sends a text message with the amount of time they will be staying in the car park.
Regular users can choose the option to save their account details for future use.
He added: “It will encourage people to spend more time in the town.”
“It is another way to stop people having to go back to the machine and it is another way to pay that is convenient.”