Searching for parking spaces in London could become a thing of the past. Westminster City Council has installed installed sensors at 3,000 parking areas that allow the ParkRight app to tell motorists if a space is available.
Each sensor can detect if a parking bay is occupied and then forward that info to a central database updated every sixty seconds. The ParkRight app can then display whether a space is available, saving you the hassle of driving around endlessly.
A red icon on the ParkRight map means less than 20 per cent of nearby spaces are available, green means more than 40 per cent are available, whilst amber represents any number in between.
The sensors are located in a trial area of the West End, from south Marylebone to south Fitzrovia, down through Mayfair to St James’s and across to Soho, Covent Garden and the Strand.
Westminster Council is planning to install a further 7,000 sensors in the wake of a successful pilot undertaken on a small number of streets in the same area.
The infrared technology is funded entirely by revenue from paid-for parking. So, if your blood boils every time you’re faced with the cost of pay and display, at least you’re now getting a little something back as consolation.
Cllr Heather Acton of Westminster City Council said: “Parking bay sensors are a simple concept and, together with the ParkRight app, they will deliver major benefits for people who need to use a car in Westminster – whether visiting, working or living here.
“Making it easier to find a parking space, and reducing congestion in the process, the sensors are a key investment in Westminster’s commitment to provide fair, easy and safe parking.”
Officials were keen to point out the app should only be used by drivers who are parked at the side of the road or those who are using their phone as a Satnav with the appropriate equipment.
Roughly 600,000 vehicles enter the city center on a daily basis and on average drivers find themselves spending around 15 minutes searching for a parking space, according to research carried out by IBM.
There’s no word on whether other city councils will adopt the system. Here’s hoping they do because not only does it save a lot of hassle, it would reduce the CO2 emissions and congestion caused by driving in circles.
The updated ParkRight app is available on the App Store, Google Play and Windows Phone Store. Go here to download the app you need.