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Harrogate takes the pain out of parking

The system provides real-time availability of parking spaces, streamlined payments and a parking data analytics dashboard for councils to use

Harrogate is bidding to become the UK's first smart parking town
Harrogate is bidding to become the UK's first smart parking town

The Yorkshire town of Harrogate has deployed an integrated smart city parking solution across the town centre in a bid to become the UK’s first smart parking town.


The solution from kerbside management and smart parking technology firm, AppyParking, involves installation of more than 2,000 surface mounted Bluetooth sensors in more than 900 public parking bays across the town centre with the aim of transforming the parking experience for thousands of residents.


Integrated approach


According to AppyParking, the app is the first of its kind to integrate technical capabilities such as smart parking sensors, automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) barriers and sensor-enabled payments into a consolidated system, offering a seamless experience for users across both on and off-street parking and a kerbside utilisation tool for local authorities.


One Click Parking, a concept created by AppyParking with the support of payments technology company Visa, enables users of the app, once parked over a sensor, to start and pay for parking sessions that automatically end when they drive away. Users of the app will benefit from pay-per-minute rates, allowing drivers to pay only for the time they are parked.


With full visibility of parking availability across the town, users can check for spaces near their destination and then drive straight there, reducing the time and fuel spent looking for parking, the company said.


Through the service, the councils also have access to an analytics dashboard which shows parking utilisation data. As the app gets used at scale, this means local authorities will for the first time be able to view parking heatmaps and demand flows, and generally gain a better understanding of how their parking assets are consumed.


AppyParking said its ambition is for this insight to inform traffic planning, parking infrastructure, help stimulate the high street and prepare cities for a future of connected and automated vehicles.

"These days so many services and payments are carried out on a smartphone, it’s only right that parking is part of that"

“We want to make parking easier and more convenient for people, as well as providing a parking solution that helps encourage people to visit Harrogate town centre,” said Phil Ireland, councillor, Harrogate Borough Council and cabinet member for sustainable transport.


“This is not only the first of its kind in Yorkshire but the UK as well. These days so many services and payments are carried out on a smartphone, it’s only right that parking is part of that.”


Visa supported AppyParking in bringing its concept to market by implementing payments into the customer journey through One Click Parking.


The solution is being demonstrated in Visa’s global network of innovation centres including London, Dubai and Frankfurt.


AppyParking were one of the start-ups voted top by attendees of Smart Cities World’s future mobility event, held in association with Amey and Ferrovial Services’ Centre of Excellence for Cities.


“We know these are challenging times for local authorities and we’re passionate about creating business models and solutions that work for everyone,” said Dan Hubert, CEO and founder of AppyParking.


“We’re eager to see how the data we surface through our analytics portal is used by councils and look forward to bringing our service to more towns and cities in the UK later this year.”


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