The diverse nature of Westminster and the many people who live, work and visit creates high demand for the limited parking space available; city-wide parking occupancy averages levels of more than 70%, and often in excess of 80% in the West End where demand is most acute.
The associated problems of congestion and poor air quality are often compounded by the time taken for motorists to find parking as they drive around the city searching for availability
In October 2014 Westminster City Council went live with Smart Parking’s SmartPark solution, an integrated package of leading edge technology that provides drivers with real-time information on unoccupied car parking spaces.
The deployment includes a network of over 3,400 RFID equipped in-ground vehicle detection sensors which register whether each parking bay is occupied or vacant. This information is relayed live to SmartRep, Smart Parking’s powerful car parking management software tool, which collates and analyses the data.
The information is fed instantaneously to the council's ParkRight, a simple to use app which drivers can install on their smartphone. The driver then uses ParkRight to identify the best available space and receive clear, precise, GPS-based directions to get them to it.
SmartRep software data can also be used for vital future planning to make further improvements to Westminster’s parking systems.
What we’ve got now is an infrastructure in Westminster which is providing accurate and good quality data and for us that is incredibly valuable information.
Kieran Fitsall, Head of Service Improvement & Transformation, Westminster City Council
The functionality means that motorists now have a much better chance of finding an available and suitable parking space quickly and easily, reducing the amount of time spent idling / circling; increasing occupancy in previously under-used bays; ensuring a better driver experience and reducing the number of parking overstays.
EPermits In November 2015 the council began to utilise bay sensor technolgoy with the launch of it's EPermit pilot. Approximately 64 of Westminster’s 193 dedicated ‘white badge' resident disabled bays have been equipped with the sensors and RFID EPermits.
The introduction of EPermits and the real-time alerting function now means Marshals are able to react instantly to vehicles parked non-compliantly. Customer experience is improved as disabled motorists now have a much better chance of parking in their allocated space quickly and easily, reducing the stress, discomfort and amount of time spent looking for an alternative place to park.
Marshal efficiency is also improved as the implementation of this technology has enabled a more targeted enforcement where they are only required to visit stays that require attention which in turn allows them to be more effectively deployed to other parts of the kerbside where they are most needed.
Awards won As a result of installing Smart Parking’s system, Westminster City Council has been recognised and awarded with the Tech Success Awards (2013); the Innovation in Technology at the Real IT Awards (2014 & 2016) and the prestigious British Parking Technology award (2014).