Mobile data integration for efficient parking enforcement

Combining multiple digital platforms to improve parking services

car park entrance

Parking data in Newcastle is processed separately according to the chosen payment service.

Parking payments in Newcastle can be through the Pay by Phone service or by using on-site ticket machines that accept both coins and cards.

Vehicle registrations are entered against these transactions to make vehicle checks by enforcement officers more time efficient.

As the data from different payments methods is processed separately, Civil Enforcement Officers were required to check two separate apps (for payment by phone or by card at machines) and to visually inspect windscreens for tickets issued with coin payments.

The Council’s plans to expand the rollout of card machines was forecast to increase the number of card-payment parking sessions from 570,000 to 1.7 million per year. This provided a strong incentive to address this inefficiency and improve parking services.

Solving the problem

Urban Foresight undertook a “time and motion” study with enforcement officers to identify the time and effort required to check the validity of parking sessions for each payment type.

The analysis identified that if the various data streams could be integrated onto the same handheld device used to issue penalty charge notices, vehicle inspection times could be reduced by up to 80%, as well as eliminating the need to deploy and operate multiple handheld devices.

A review of the data generated by, and required for, all the providers of both payment and enforcement services, confirmed it would be possible to replicate the suppliers’ application programming interfaces (APIs) used for sharing data, with only minimal modification.

Vehicle inspection times could be reduced by up to 80%, as well as eliminating the need to operate multiple handheld devices.

A statement of requirement was developed, and the suppliers of the various parking services were engaged to develop and test the required solution.

Key outcomes

The enhanced functionality is now operational. Over the next five years, it is forecast the integration of payment data from the planned deployment of card payment-enabled ticket machines, will deliver financial benefits worth £525,000.

If the remaining estate of ticket machines were to be upgraded to capture vehicle registration numbers for coin payments, this enhancement can be deployed more widely to provide further significant financial and operational benefits.