Westminster City Council, in partnership with Smart Parking, is set to unveil new technology which could eliminate the issue of inconsiderate drivers parking in disabled bays.
New technology emerging out of Westminster’s successful bay sensors pilot in central London now means that disabled drivers can be issued with electronic permits, known as EPermits or RFID tags, which communicate with sensors in the road.
Should a car without a tag park in a disabled bay with a sensor illegally, nearby traffic marshals will be alerted so that they could go to the site and ask the driver to move on. They also have the power to issue a fine as a last resort.
Cllr Heather Acton, Westminster City Council cabinet member for parking, said: “Parking in a disabled bay must be one of the most inconsiderate things a driver can do – yet we still see it very regularly in Westminster.
“We hope this new technology will put an end to this poor practice and help improve the day to day lives of disabled drivers in the city.”
Paul Gillespie, Smart Parking’s Group Chief Executive Officer added: “We are delighted to be collaborating with Westminster City Council and Transport for London in the launch of the EPermit pilot – a world first.
“This new technology will help to eliminate misuse of disabled parking bays broadening Westminster City Council’s commitment to providing fairer, easier, parking”.
Money has come from the city council’s parking fund, paid for by drivers who pay for parking in the city, and also from Transport for London’s incubator fund which champions new and ground-breaking transport ideas.
The pilot project is set to last around 8 weeks, and evaluation will be carried out before a decision will be made on a citywide roll out.
Westminster’s bay sensor pilot started in the West End and now covers 3,330 bays across the city. Drivers can use a phone app, called ParkRight, to see when parking spaces are available in real time.
It comprises of Smart Parking’s flush mounted, anti-slip profile RFID-equipped SmartEye sensors, which use advanced sensing technology to detect when a vehicle has occupied a parking space.
Real-time data is then communicated to systems regarding changes to parking space occupancy on a second-by-second basis. Drivers are able to access ParkRight to view an accurate live map of available parking spaces nearby or at a location that they plan to travel to.