This month, senior members at North Yorkshire County Council and Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet will be asked to approve the appointment of AppyWay – formally AppyParking – for a further two years following a successful trial period.
In January 2019, the county council – which is responsible for on-street parking – and the borough council – which manages off-street car parks – worked with AppyWay the UK’s leading smart parking technology firm, to deliver the first smart parking system in the UK.
The smartphone app allows customers to see real-time availability of parking spaces across Harrogate town centre, navigate to the space and pay for a parking session with a single-click. The sensor technology means parking sessions automatically end when the vehicle is driven away.
On Friday (23 April), the county council’s business and environmental services executive members and corporate director will consider a report recommending continuation of the smart parking solution. The following week (28 April), the borough council’s executive will consider a similar report.
Following the successful trial, data and feedback has shown that it creates a better parking experience for the customer and provides a benefit to the local economy and environment.
Last summer, more than 600 smart parking users were surveyed. Of these customers; 83 per cent said the app alleviates stress normally associated with using a pay and display machine, 62 per cent said they stay longer as a result of not worrying about a ticket expiring and 56 per cent have saved time finding a car parking space.
North Yorkshire County Councillor Don Mackenzie, executive member for access, said: “We committed to the smart parking trial, in partnership with Harrogate Borough Council, as part of our continuing efforts to use innovative ways to improve traffic flow in Harrogate for the benefit of residents and visitors.
“Analysis of the trial shows a high level of satisfaction, with the smart parking option proving less stressful and encouraging people to stay longer. Providing visitors and shoppers with this more convenient and enjoyable experience will be a huge benefit to the town’s retailers and other businesses as they recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Councillor Phil Ireland, Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet member for sustainable travel, said: “When we first implemented this comprehensive smart parking solution, we were the first local authorities in the county to do so. It is clear we have led from example as this award winning app is now being adopted by other authorities across the country.
“The data from the trial period has shown it not only can make parking easier and more convenient for people, it can also save people money and encourage them to visit the town centre and stay longer.
“What we weren’t aware of at the time, was that the contactless payment element would also prove beneficial during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The app will play a role in the recovery of the high street and I will be recommending the approval for a further two years.”
If approved by both the county council and the borough council, the appointment will start at the end of July. However, as the parking solution is already in place customers will see no change to the service they receive and continue to enjoy the benefits the app offers.
The convenience charge was also reduced from 30p to 20p during the trial so customers have even more reasons to be ’appy.
The smart parking solution continues to forms part of the borough council’s economic growth strategy that aims to attract global businesses to the district, create high-quality jobs as well as improving the local transport infrastructure. It also contributes to the county council’s local growth plan by helping to deliver a modern integrated transport network which is one of our growth enablers.
Find out more about smart parking in Harrogate town centre. The app can be downloaded from the App Store for iPhone and Google Play for Android devices.