The following has been sent out by Haringey Council:
Our on-street Pay & Display (P&D) machines are up to 20 years old and some are in poor condition with high maintenance costs. They are also susceptible to cash box theft, vandalism and, on occasions, complete removal. This has been apparent of late as approximately 50 machines have already been taken out of service as a result of vandalism - or being at risk of vandalism.
Replacing a P&D machine costs up to £5,000 for supply and installation; so replacing damaged machines is costly. This doesn’t include the costs associated with future cash collections and ongoing maintenance.
On top of this, we have been advised that it would cost nearly £100,000 to convert all of our P&D machines to take the new £1 coin. It is increasingly difficult to justify such expenditure at a time when the Council is experiencing extreme financial pressures and so a decision has been made to move towards cashless parking and commence a programme to phase out P&D machines across the borough and only offer ‘Pay by Phone’ parking. We understand that a number of other London Boroughs are going through the same process.
Pay by Phone parking has been operating successfully in Haringey since 2012 and all our recently introduced CPZ's are already ‘cashless’ (Woodside West, Bounds Green East, White Hart Lane, Bruce Grove East & West).
Cashless parking payments can be made by using a simple smartphone app, calling a telephone number or by texting the location number, all of which are given on parking signs. An account would need to be set up but this only takes a few minutes and can be done in advance at home. The system offers a wide range of benefits to customers including choice of payment method, reminders that their parking session is about to end and the option of extending their parking session. Users have also said the biggest advantage is not having to carry lots of coins.
We acknowledge that some users may not have access to a smart phone or they may simply prefer to use cash and so we will be introducing a cash payment option via PayPoint. This allows users to pay for their parking session in a PayPoint enabled local shop. A message then gets sent to civil enforcement officers (CEO's) to note that payment has been made for a specific vehicle (the parking session automatically starts and the CEOs handheld will note payment as it would if you were to text or pay for the session using the app). This means that you don’t have to walk back to your vehicle to display a ticket. This PayPoint cash payment system is well established across London.
We have been working with our Communications Department to develop a comms strategy, which will include publishing articles in Haringey People, adverts on street and posting information and guidance on Pay by Phone parking on our website. We will also be engaging with the business community to ensure that they are aware of our intention and reassure them that customers will continue to be able to park locally and conveniently. An advantage of the PayPoint system is that users have to walk into shops to pay for their parking sessions and so this is an obvious way for businesses to generate footfall through their premises.
Some businesses have also asked us if they can pay for their customers parking session and this is something we are working with Pay by Phone develop.
We intend to start decommissioning P&D machines from the beginning of September and hope to complete the programme by 15 October, which is when the old £1 coin will no longer be legal tender.