Parking in Central Beds Council-run car parks in Leighton Buzzard should be easier for tech-savvy motorists after a new contractor took over the service.
Once registered, drivers will be able to use an app which enables them to search for vacant spaces, get directions to the car park, and also extend their parking period remotely if they need more time.
JustPark took over the contract from current provider RingGo on Tuesday, and is running the service across all of the council’s pay and display car parks.
The switch to the new provider will save the council an estimated £60,000 a year.
The council says the new system has user-friendly technology which should make parking easy, less stressful and time-consuming for drivers.
You can register in advance or on-the-spot at the car park, and you’ll be set up in just a matter of minutes. You can either do this online or via an iPhone, Android or Apple Watch App.
Payment can be completed in under 30 seconds, with various payment options. There is also a dedicated local rate telephone number for customer enquiries and 24-hour payments. Customers can be transferred to the UK call centre for extra help.
Notices have been placed at the relevant car parks, and JustPark will also be on-site to ask queries from the public at key times during the changeover.
Central Beds Council has also changed their supplier of parking permits. Imperial Civil Enforcement Solutions (Permit Smarti) took over the contract from RingGo on January 11. The change of supplier will not affect the current charge for permits.
Councillor Budge Wells, Deputy Executive Member for Community Services at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “This is about giving our residents and visitors a range of payment options. While you can still pay cash, using a mobile service means users don’t need to worry about finding the right change for the car park.
“Moving the service to the JustPark app will see drivers benefit from a range of new features, including being able to search for a vacant parking space in any of the pay and display car parks.
“The app will show where the available spaces are, navigate you to the car park, and get you paid up and parked up easily.
“To make things even easier, users will be able to extend their parking time by using the mobile app or by text message – meaning shoppers don’t need to race back to the car before their ticket runs out.
“By changing supplier, it has reduced the cost of providing the service to our customers considerably. With an anticipated savings of £60,000 per year we will be able to reinvest this into improving other council services.”