Greater Anglia and NCP roll-out Automatic Number Plate Recognition at rail station car parks
Greater Anglia is working with NCP, the UK’s largest parking retailer and operator, to roll out Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology across 20 rail station car parks, giving customers greater control over how and when they pay for their parking.
The ticketless ANPR technology will make it easier for customers to pay for parking, as it increases the variety of payment options available, and help to improve security.
Customers will be able to pay for their parking online anytime up until midnight the day after their visit on the Great Anglia Parking Portal (gaparking.co.uk).
They can even pre-register their car and payment details online, allowing automatic payment to make parking completely hassle-free.
Blue badge holders will continue to park for free, provided they register with NCP either online or by phone up within 24 hours of leaving the car park. They can do this online, by phone or by post and register more than one car if required.
The programme will also see all on-site payment kiosks replaced, enabling payment by cash, card, Google wallet and Apple Pay. Alternatively, customers can choose to pay using their mobile phone at the time of parking.
This is part of an on-going programme to make commuters’ parking simpler – by removing the need for cash and by offering choice when it comes to electronic payment methods.
Furthermore, each upgraded car park will also be able to provide customers with real time occupancy data via the Greater Anglia website and Great Anglia Parking Portal.
This will allow all customers to view current availability at the car park ahead of their visit, as well as expected occupancy for any given time or day of the week based on historical trend data.
To date, Broxbourne, Cambridge station and Ipswich station car parks have been upgraded and a further 17 stations will be completed before the end of the year.
They are Audley End, Billericay, Bishop’s Stortford, Cheshunt, Colchester, Diss, Harlow Town, Hatfield Peverel, Ingatestone, Kelvedon, Manningtree, Marks Tey, Rayleigh, Shenfield, Wickford, Witham and Whittlesford.
NCP’s Contract Manager, Mark Kraft, said: “NCP has enjoyed a successful partnership with Greater Anglia for 12 years now as we collectively strive to deliver a leading product and service within the industry.
“In total Greater Anglia provides 13,500 spaces across 55 station car parks, meaning the use of ANPR will positively impact thousands of customers on a daily basis.
“We understand that for the majority of customers using these sites, parking is just a small part of their journey and we want to make this a seamless an experience as possible.
“This is why we are significantly expanding the methods of payments, giving customers the ability to pay for their parking in a way and at a time that is most convenient for them.”
Simone Bailey, Greater Anglia Asset Management Director, said: “We know customers who drive to stations want to be able to park as quickly and easily as possible, which is why we’re committed to improving parking across the Greater Anglia network, making life a little easier for our customers.”
Car park users can still also pay online, using Dash or text, by phone, or at the pay machines.
The upgrade is part of Greater Anglia’s wider plans to improve car parking at its stations, investing £20 million in creating over 1,700 extra car parking spaces across the network over the next seven years.
The first phase of car park improvements is to create more than 600 spaces across Attleborough, Hockley, Marks Tey, Shenfield and Bury St Edmunds car parks, with work due to start this year.
Across the network, Greater Anglia is planning to improve car parks at busy stations by building single and multi-storey car parks and extending surface car parks, subject to planning permission.
CCTV, signage and lighting at all extended car parks will also be improved.