Council runs pilot project to manage legitimate use of parking bays using radio frequency identification
Westminster City Council, London, is testing a system of sensors and electronic permits to manage parking in bays reserved for disabled drivers.
The council is working with Smart Parking, which produces parking bay sensors, on an eight-week pilot to determine whether the system should be rolled out around London.
It involves embedding SmartEye sensors (pictured), which are equipped with radio frequency identification (RFID), into the tarmac of disabled parking bays, and providing disabled drivers with electronic permits that include RFID tags.
The sensors can monitor whether a car is parked in a bay and if it has the appropriate e-permit. If not, it can alert any traffic wardens nearby who can then ask the driver to move on or issue a fine.
Councillor Heather Acton, Westminster’s cabinet member for parking, said: “Parking in a disabled bay must be one of the most inconsiderate things a driver can do – yet we still see it very regularly in Westminster. We hope this new technology will put an end to this poor practice and help improve the day to day lives of disabled drivers in the city.”
Paul Gillespie, Smart Parking’s chief executive, said the pilot is a world first. It is being funded by the council’s parking fund and Transport for London’s incubator fund.
Drivers in the city can also use the ParkRight phone app to see where parking spaces are available. It logs into a system that collects information from the parking bay sensors to populate a real time map that highlights empty spaces.