Pay-and-display parking machines to be switched off
Pay-and-display machines in most Gosport Borough Council car parks are to be switched off and removed, with drivers asked to use their mobile phones for payments instead.
Machines will be shut down around the borough between May and September. During May, short-stay town centre car parks will be among the first to switch to mobile-only payments.
Nine of the 37 machines will be kept. But at most sites, drivers will be asked to use MiPermit - a way of paying using a mobile, which is already in place in council car parks.
The move will save thousands of pounds of public money, as the machines are becoming increasingly expensive to maintain and operate. And if the council were to keep all its machines, they would soon need expensive upgrades. This is because they rely on the 3G phone signal, which is being phased out.
MiPermit gives drivers the options of paying by text, QR code, automated phone line, smartphone app or via a website. Payments can also be made by speaking to an assistant on MiPermit's helpline. A smartphone is not necessary.
During May, all machines in short-stay town centre car parks will be switched off. The first hour of parking at these sites will stay free, and MiPermit payments will only be needed for longer stays. Machines at Hardway Slipway and No 2 Battery East will be shut down at the same time.
Machines at other car parks will be switched off in phases, with the process due to be completed by the end of the year.
The nine remaining machines will be at the following car parks: Walpole Park (two machines), Pebble Beach, Gilkicker, No.2 Battery West, Beach Road, Marine Parade, Alver Valley Country Park East and Alver Valley Country Park West.
Cllr Peter Chegwyn, Leader of the Council, said: "Many people are already using MiPermit. You can choose the most convenient payment method for you, and there's no need to worry about having the right change, dealing with paper tickets or struggling with faulty machines. You can even extend your stay without returning to your car.
"I've paid for parking on my mobile and found it straightforward. If I can do it, anyone can! And if you do need a bit of help, you can speak to an MiPermit assistant.
"I appreciate that for most people it's a change. But in the current financial climate we need to save taxpayers' money wherever we can, and this will save council taxpayers about £30,000 per year.
"We want to concentrate our spending on priorities such as improving the town centre, protecting public services and investing in a cleaner, greener Gosport.
"We're very grateful for people bearing with us."
A full list, below, shows when machines will be switched off.
A 10p service charge is added to MiPermit transactions.
Residents can contact MiPermit on 0345 520 7007 or the council Streetscene team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 08000 198598.
LIST OF CHANGES TO CAR PARKS
Pay-and-display machines will be switched off in phases, starting in May. The process should be completed by the end of the year.
Phase 1 - May
Machines at the following car parks will be switched off: Coates Road, Church Path, South Street, Minnitt Road South, North Cross Street, North Loading Bay, Thorngate Way, Hardway Slipway, No.2 Battery East.
From July onwards:
Machines at the following car parks will be switched off: Minnitt Road North, Mumby Road Bus Station, Clarence Road, Mumby Road Lorry Park, Walpole Park.
Machines at the following car parks will be switched off: Pebble Beach Motorhome Bays, Alverbank West, Pebble Beach, Gilkicker, No.2 Battery West, Alver Valley Country Park East, Alver Valley Country Park West.
Machines at the following car parks will be switched off: Elmore and Flower Buildings, Beach Road, Marine Parade.