Agenda item

Update on Parking Management IT System

Verbal update.


The Panel received a verbal presentation, which provided an update on the new Parking Management IT System. The presentation was introduced by Mark Stevens, AD for Direct Services as set out in the tabled papers published on the website at pages 1 to 14. The Cabinet Member for Transformation and Public Realm investment was also present for this agenda item. The following arose during the discussion of this presentation:

a.    The Chair recounted her own experience of trying to use the PMIS to purchase visitor permits for parking. The Chair advised that she found this process to be unnecessarily difficult and requested that visitor permits should be clearly labelled and be front and centre, as the most sought after permit. The Chair also commented that she got stuck in a feedback loop and queried why users had to re-enter their address details after the first time.

b.    In response the Cabinet Member advised that the Council had used the Civica system for 13 years and that to some extent this could be explained by people just being used to the old system. The Cabinet Member advised that there were only four companies that could provide an online parking IT solution and that Taranto were used by a number of other local authorities and that their system had been developed in conjunction with feedback from a number of other boroughs. The term ‘vouchers’ was used by Taranto rather than ‘visitor permits’. The Cabinet Member acknowledged that the Council had to be consistent in the terminology it used and that work needed to be done with the Communications team and other to make sure there was consistency.

c.    In relation to the point raised about having to re-enter address details, the Cabinet Member advised that this should not be the case and that the system should remember address details. The Cabinet Member advised that she would add this to the issue log they had with Taranto.

d.    Officers advised that they were working with Taranto to make changes to the platform and that they were also encouraging Taranto to bring the timescales forwards for when those changes would be made.

e.    The Cabinet Member commented that there were 177k visitor permits issued in a year and that upon further investigation, it was apparent that a chunk of these permits were for people receiving care at home and who might receive 20/30 transactional visits a week. The Cabinet Member advised that Cabinet were in the process of providing a free transferable permit for carers.

f.     In response to a question, officers advised that anyone who came into a Customer Service Centre would receive an assessment to see if they could use online payments/permits, including offering public access computers. However, if this was not suitable, then paper permits would be offered. The Panel was advised that there was no age limit for paper permits and that it was based entirely upon an individual’s circumstances.

g.    The Chair made a plea that the word ‘visitor’ was added to the front end of the website for purchasing vouchers/visitor permits. In response, the Cabinet Member advised that this was one of the top ten issues that the Council was progressing with Taranto but that it was lower down the order than some other key issues. It was suggested that the system was issuing 35k-40k permits  a month and that on the whole it was working effectively. 

h.    The Chair emphasised that they system needed to be as easy to use as possible and that people were used to doing a whole range of things online, consequently if the system was not easy to use then people would just stop using it. Officers advised that there were three different services working on this project to make the system as user friendly as possible.





That the update on the Parking Management IT System was noted.

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