The Tories accuse the Labour-run council of “serial incompetence” for failing to update the parking meters to accept the new pound coins. This slanging match merely highlights that Tory and Labour are stuck in the past.
The UK is moving closer to a cashless society with the UK currently ranked the 3rd most cashless country in the world. The real incompetence is the failure to recognise these changing consumer trends, the painfully slow rollout of contactless payment parking meters and failure to adopt “smart” parking solutions.
After an initial registration of a car number plate and bank details, consumers at Westfield shopping centre are automatically charged for parking thereafter. These “smart” parking solutions are now commonplace, yet in H&F the discussion is still about pound coins.
More importantly this approach to parking highlights the council’s lack of preparedness to harness the huge potential of new technologies offered by the Internet of Things (IoT) and advent of 5G. Numerous cities worldwide are embracing these new technologies which are already yielding significant cost savings and improving the quality of life for residents.
In recent months parking meters throughout the borough have systematically been vandalised. In time, the adoption of “smart” parking solutions would negate the need for traditional parking meters. These solutions would increase revenues, reduce costs, prevent litter created from paper tickets and be more convenient for consumers.