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Westminster council to introduce vehicle detection solution across the city to reduce congestion and increase parking revenues

With a background of up to 30% of urban road congestion being caused by motorists trying to find a car parking space, Westminster City Council has, as reported in Government Computing, issued a tender for an electronic vehicle detection solution to make it easier for drivers to find a parking spot, thus reducing traffic and increasing revenue.

The contract, which is due to run for 39 months (three and a quarter years), covers hardware, software, maintenance, repair, and software support services, and is estimated to be worth between £400,000 and £3.5m during its lifetime.

The successful bidder will be expected to provide approximately 10,000 paid and disabled parking bays.

Westminster City Council has the option to 'extend the contract period by one or more periods up to a further 24 months', bringing the total potential lifetime of the contract to just over five years, according to a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).

The deadline for receipt of tenders or participation requests was 12 August 2013, with the contract expected to go live on 22 November 2013.

The magazine said that Westminster council is generally viewed as a bellwether for future trends in parking, having already introduced cashless parking, an app that allows drivers to see on-street parking space availability and rolled out a number of parking bay sensors.

Westminster takes in £37 million a year from parking - more than any other local authority - and 600,000 vehicles a day use its streets. This month the authoirty  dismissed a proposed by Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles for free parking on double yellow lines, saying it would cause “gridlock”. Westminster council said capacity on its roads would be halved if they allowed 15 minutes’ free parking on yellow lines. 


A European first: Find a space on-street, as new parking app goes LIVE!

In October 2012, Westminster Council ran a trial of parking bay sensor technology provided by Town and City Parking Ltd (now named Smart Parking Ltd also)that was developed by their parent company Car Parking Technologies Ltd

During the trial, operating in Savile Row, Sackville Street, Jermyn Street and St John’s Wood High Street, drivers could download the “ParkRight” app to see if an on-street parking space is available on an individual road.

Click here to see the BBC London News report.


Trial produced 2.3% reduction in payment avoidance

Earlier this month, as part of a Smart City Workshop hosted by Oxfordshire Business First, Perth-based Smart Parking presented some results from its Westminster trial - Reducing Congestion and Increasing Compliance Through Intelligent Technology.

Smart Parking stated that the trial achieved improved customer experience, (assistance) for future planning and management of kerbside space, a 2.3% reduction in payment avoidance and improved occupancy in under utilised areas.


Oxford a smart city?

The Oxford Business First - a Oxford based business networking group - held the Smart City workshop on 7 August, at which ateendees discussed the concept, issues and opportunities with a view to identifying benefits that could emerge from utilising ‘big data’ more effectively to improve aspects of the city and its social and commercial activities.

Oxford Business First Smart City has published some (mainly non-self explanatory) presentations shown at the event:

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