Hounslow Council introduces card payments for parking for those who don’t use mobile apps

Image above: A parking metre

Six month trial to begin in the new year

Hounslow Council has announced the introduction of payment for parking by bank card at certain locations, to address concerns about ‘digital exclusion’ expressed by residents, following the transition to cashless parking systems in 2016.

Only about two percent of households in the UK do not have mobile phones. While 98% of all adults aged 16-24 in the UK  now have a smart phone, among the older age groups the percentage is lower. As of 2023, 86% adults aged 55-64 owned a smartphone device. Over the age of 65 the percentage decreases to 80%, which leaves them without any means of paying for parking in areas where cashless parking has been introduced.

The only way to pay for parking in many places in London is by using cashless payment apps such as PayByPhone or RinGo. They account for 35,000 parking sessions per week, but they leave those without smartphones without any other options for paying.

To address this, the Council has decided to introduce card payment terminals across 13 car parks and seven park and shop locations in the borough. Cllr Salman Shaheen, Cabinet Member for Recreation, Public Space and Parking, said:

‘‘Hounslow is a listening council. We know the uptake of the PayByPhone system has been very smooth for the majority of residents. However, there are a small number of residents who’ve written to us concerned about digital inclusion.

“This is something we take very seriously, which is why we are launching a trial cashless parking terminal option using card. We are a borough that stands for inclusion and not exclusion.

‘‘Through the trail we encourage users to provide us with feedback and the data we collect will help us to make a balanced and informed decision, always keeping the residents needs as a priority.’’

The six-month trial, set to start in the new year, will be used to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of introducing card payment options alongside the existing PayByPhone system.

These new terminals will provide a contactless payment service, offering users the flexibility to enter their vehicle registration and select the appropriate tariff, and they will allow for 30 minutes of free parking sessions at specific stop and shop locations, along with emissions-based charging.

The current PayByPhone system, operational across council-owned car parks, will continue alongside the new card payment terminals. Residents can use the PayByPhone app or phone service for payment, with PayPoint’s 200+ retailers across the borough providing an alternative for cash or card payments, eliminating the sole reliance on phones for transactions.

Car parks and streets with the cashless terminal options in Chiswick

Car parks

Bath Road

Chiswick Common Road

On-street

Strand on the Green (Chiswick) – outside 106-108

Turnham Green Terrace (Chiswick) – between Chiswick Common Road and Chiswick High Road, west side

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