ONLINE POLL: Mobile payment plan for Mansfield car parking

NMAC11-2009-1''Parking sign for 70p per hour but the machine will only deal with a 2 hour minimum
NMAC11-2009-1''Parking sign for 70p per hour but the machine will only deal with a 2 hour minimum

MOTORISTS could soon be able to transfer tickets across council car parks and use their mobile phones to pay under plans designed to make visiting town easier.

Mansfield District Council is thinking of bringing in the schemes as it bids to increase footfall and usage of its 17 town car parks.

The authority, which pulled in less cash than expected from car parking in the previous financial year, says income is now stabilising.

It is now looking at new ways to make parking easier and encourage more shoppers.

Said head of regeneration Craig Bonar: “We are currently looking at the option to introduce mobile phone payment so people could pay by cash or with their phone on arrival.

“It could also give people the option of paying for a fixed period but if they stay longer in town they could use their phone to pay for further time.”

Transferrable tickets, meaning tickets bought at one council car park which could be used in another if they still have valid time on them, are also being considered.

“We continually have feedback and do surveys and consultations,” added Mr Bonar.

“What that reinforces is there’s a variety of different users with different needs when it comes to parking options.”

The council altered its car parking structure in April, removing one-hour minimum stays in favour of two-hour minimums at some sites on the edge of town.

Some shoppers said this change could put off some visitors but Mr Bonar added income from parking for April to June this year matched cash taken for the same period in 2010.

“In view of the overall economic climate where there’s been overall challenge for all town centres, with our income being the same level, that is a healthy sign.”

The April changes included a free 30-minute option at the Queen’s Head and Town Hall car parks, he added, while many other town centre sites still have one-hour options.