RingGo Stars in Dorchester
| 20th Nov 2009|
The innovative service means motorists no longer have to hoard their change for parking or fumble with coins in the rain and cold. Instead, they simply park and pay from the comfort of their vehicle, or even call the service on the way to their destination. No ticket is required, as car parking attendants are able to check vehicle registrations against payments made, using internet connected handsets.
|From today (20 November ) drivers in Dorchester can pay for their
parking using just their mobile phone and a credit or debit card.
RingGo cashless parking is rolling out alongside existing pay and
display machines in West Dorset District Council's long and short stay
car parks in Dorchester, offering users an alternative way to pay.
After parking, drivers simply dial the local rate number 01305 894 896, which is shown on the signs and payment machines around the car parks. Drivers will need to provide the location code, also shown on signs, their car registration number and the length of time they want to park. Payment will then be taken from the driver's debit/credit card. First time users will need to give full details of the payment card they use, but the next time they use the service, they will only need to provide the last four digits, as the state-of-the-art technology is able to identify the mobile phone that is being used.
Using the service costs a flat rate of 20p in addition to a car park's normal parking fees. No parking tickets are issued as parking attendants can accurately check which vehicles have paid using the RingGo system through special mobile phones, which link directly to RingGo's central data system. Drivers can also extend their stay by mobile phone without having to go back to the car park and feed the cash machine, and without running the risk of getting a Penalty Charge Notice.
RingGo is offered widely across the country, with many local authorities in the South and South West providing the service. Rail operators including First Great Western and South West Trains, offer RingGo as a payment option at many of their station car parks, so motorists are likely to be familiar with the service even before it goes live.
The district council will initially be trialling this new facility in Dorchester, with the aim of rolling it out across the district in the future.
West Dorset District Council Leader Robert Gould said: "These days, more and more purchases are made with plastic, so keeping enough change for parking is not always convenient. The district council wants to make things easier for people parking in our car parks, so offering an alternative to coins is definitely the way forward."
Phil Gordon, Project Director for Dorchester's BID (Business Improvement District) agrees, he said: "In the run up to Christmas, shoppers come from further afield and stay longer than normal, so they may not know how much their parking will be. With the new RingGo service you don't have to worry about having the right coins - simply call up the service and pay using your phone."
"Another advantage of RingGo is that you can extend your parking time
wherever you are and so avoid a parking fine. We're sure this facility
will be greatly appreciated, both in the summer months and in the run
up to Christmas as people do their shopping."
Image shows Phil Gordon, Dorchester BID (left) and Council Leader Robert Gould (right) launching the RingGo service (click on the thumbnail for a high resolution version)