Pay-by-mo­bile me­ters at last come to Oban

The Oban Times - - NEWS - By Sandy Neil sneil@oban­times.co.uk

Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil has in­tro­duced a new sys­tem where driv­ers in Oban can pay for park­ing via their mo­bile phones, rather than just coins, af­ter com­plaints by busi­nesses.

Andrew Spence, chief ex­ec­u­tive of busi­ness group BID4Oban, said he had been ‘in­un­dated with com­plaints’ about Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil’s new park­ing charges in Oban.

All the me­ters only ac­cept coins, he said, adding: ‘In this day and age, there should be a fa­cil­ity to pay via credit/debit card or mo­bile phone.’

The coun­cil an­nounced on Mon­day it had launched a ‘new quick, sim­ple way to pay for park­ing, wher­ever you are’ across the re­gion.

A spokesper­son ex­plained: ‘PayS­marti is a fully dig­i­tal, mod­ern way to pay for park­ing through a sim­ple phone call, us­ing a debit or credit card, and giv­ing your car reg­is­tra­tion and lo­ca­tion. Each pur­chase of park­ing time is au­to­mat­i­cally up­dated on the war­den’s hand­held com­puter lead­ing to re­duced er­rors, fewer ap­peals and lower costs.

‘You don’t need to regis­ter to use PayS­marti, but if you be­come a reg­u­lar user, it will speed things up as pre-reg­is­tered cus­tomers can sim­ply text to park. In ad­di­tion, you can re­ceive a re­minder text 15 min­utes be­fore your park­ing ses­sion ex­pires. You will also be able to down­load VAT re­ceipts.

‘Par­tic­i­pat­ing car parks, and Oban me­tered on­street park­ing, will dis­play PayS­marti sig­nage on the ex­ist­ing ticket ma­chine.

‘The lo­ca­tion code for the car park will be dis­played on the poster at the ticket ma­chine.

‘To pay, sim­ply call 01604 210 933 (from your mo­bile phone), go on­line to www. PayS­marti.co.uk or send a text to 07537 404780. The ser­vice will not be avail­able in car parks which of­fer a free park­ing pe­riod.’

Coun­cil­lor Roddy McCuish, pol­icy lead for roads and amenity ser­vices, said: ‘Year on year cuts to our fund­ing, like all coun­cils, mean that we must make changes to how we work.

‘This sys­tem pro­vides our cus­tomers with choice and the con­ve­nience of not hav­ing to find the right change to park. Choice is in­creased by the avail­abil­ity of sea­son tick­ets that can be used in car parks through­out Ar­gyll and Bute.

‘From the coun­cil’s point of view, this will cut down on some of the ex­pense as­so­ci­ated with ap­peals, ticket trans­fer and van­dal­ism, en­abling us to direct our lim­ited re­sources to vi­tal ser­vices.’

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