The Westminster City Council parking team is celebrating success after winning the 2014 British Parking Awards Parking Technology Award for its parking bay sensors and ParkRight app.
This year there was stiff competition for what is a prestigious award with 10 entrants on the short list. The ParkRight app has already won both the 2013 Tech Success Innovation Award and 2013 Global Business Excellence Outstanding App Award.
Next month the scheme goes ‘live’ across much of Westminster, when more than 3,000 sensors are switched on – making it easier to find a parking space than ever before. The area covered by the sensors stretches from south Marylebone across to south Fitzrovia, down through Mayfair to St James’s and across to Soho, Covent Garden and the Strand. When these sensors have been shown to work successfully, a second phase will see them installed across the rest of Westminster.
The infra-red SmartEye sensors installed in parking bays will detect whether 3,000 spaces are available or not and that information will be sent to a central database. A new, improved, version of the ParkRight app will show drivers a real-time map of parking availability and give directions to an empty space. This will reduce both the time needed to find a space and the congestion on Westminster’s roads.
The judges said: “The world of parking is moving from one in which payment machines and tickets were the main pieces of technology to one of apps and algorithms. This is the case with the Westminster Sensor Parking system, which has proven the viability of providing drivers with real-time information about the availability of street parking spaces while they are driving via the ParkRight app. The jury was impressed with the detailed descriptions and reports on the specification and implementation of the trial in London's West End. The fact that the city has now committed to roll out the bay sensors and app is testament to the success of their pioneering trial.”
Kieran Fitsall, Westminster City Council Parking Service Development Manager: “We were delighted to win this award which is a wonderful endorsement for our bay sensors from people who know parking inside out. The scheme really is ground-breaking here in Britain and, 18 months of preparation, we’re really looking forward to the sensors going live next month.”