Suffolk: Councils introduce new cashless way to pay in town’s car parks
A system which should make it easier for people to pay for car parking in some of Suffolk’s market towns has been introduced by the two district councils.
Customers of Babergh’s long stay car parks in Hadleigh and Sudbury, and Mid Suffolk’s car parks in Stowmarket, are now able to pay for their parking by phone, app or online, using a credit or debit card.
The service, called RingGo, will be rolled out across nine of the towns’ council run car parks for an 18-month trial period.
Earlier this year, the local authorities came under fire for their “confusing” parking system, which still requires people to put a ticket on their vehicle to park for three hours free of charge. Motorists pay £2 to park for 24 hours.
Revenue from parking fines in Sudbury has doubled since a ticketing system was introduced, with Babergh collecting £86,903 in fixed penalties from car parks during the last financial year, compared to £43,414 in 2010/11. Critics of the scheme believe many of the fines were issued to people who “forgot” to put a ticket on their vehicle, and they called for the system to be simplified. The RingGo service is the first in a number of measures being implemented by the councils in response.
Roy Barker, Mid Suffolk portfolio holder for environment, said: “We are always looking at new ways to improve services for visitors and residents in Mid Suffolk and with most people having either a mobile or smartphone these days, this is a great alternative to paying for parking rather than worrying about having the right change.
“There is also the added bonus of being able to get reminder texts to alert you when your parking is due to expire and then gives you the option to pay again and extend your stay without having to return to your car.”
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Simple instructions on how to use the RingGo service are displayed on the car park ticket machines where the service is available. These include Station Road in Sudbury, Magdalen Road in Hadleigh, and Bury Street, Iliffe Way and Ipswich Street in Stowmarket.
To start using the service, customers can either call 020 3046 0060, visit www.myRingGo.co.uk or download the RingGo app to their mobile phone.