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How to ensure an eco-friendly car park

16/03/20

A New Way to Implement Emissions-Based Charging

The demand for emissions-based parking charges is growing rapidly as environmental concerns continue to increase. Drivers need that extra incentive to do their bit to help the nation meet air quality targets. This is particularly important in busy urban centres where nitrogen oxides and other harmful particulates are especially high. The high-ticket price that comes with implementing solutions to combat this is an obstacle for many councils. What’s more, pay-and-display machines are proving inadequate for the task of efficiently identifying vehicles.

Green Targets

Clean Air Zones are being promoted in many of the nation’s most polluted urban regions to influence the behaviour of motorists. Areas that become congested with cars, vans and lorries are hotspots for dangerously high toxicity in the air. They also contribute disproportionately to the nation’s overall carbon emissions, undermining efforts to reach government environmental targets. Clean Air Zones are complex initiatives, and local authorities will need to find the most efficient solutions for establishing green systems as quickly and affordably as possible.

One of the biggest challenges of emissions-based parking charges is that it is very difficult to implement with traditional pay-and-display machines. This is because it relies on accurate identification of a driver’s vehicle, and tying that vehicle to a user.

Meeting the Challenges

One of the emerging solutions to the issue is the pay-by-phone option. This enables motorists to create an account with a pay-by-phone app and pay for their parking. With a mobile data connection, the user simply chooses the vehicle they have previously registered with their account, and the app calculates the cost of their parking. However, the difference in tariff costs between high and low emitting vehicles could certainly cause political issues for car park operators as drivers choose to be charged a ‘higher fee’.

Many car parks already have Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras in operation, which can read a car’s licence plate when entering or leaving the car park. This technology can be issued to automatically implement emissions-based charging. Motorists only need to register an account with their vehicle’s details once, then every time they enter an enabled car park with that vehicle, the parking session will be logged as the ANPR camera registers their visit.

The appropriate parking tariff will be calculated automatically, in line with the vehicle’s emissions, and when they leave they will be billed on autopilot for the length of their stay.

This way automatic deductions in parking costs can be applied to those less emitting vehicles automatically, and higher charges to those in high emission vehicles.

The future of parking will have a considerable focus on making parking more economical long-term. It’s a good time to familiarise drivers with this new way of parking, and ultimately ensure it’s long and continued success.

For more information about how Hozah can help with automatic emissions-based charging, click here.

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