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Cymraeg

Quadrant Car park goes ticketless

SWANSEA'S Quadrant Car Park is going ticketless.

quadrant car park ticket machine

The changes start on January 30 and council staff will be on site to help drivers adjust to the new system.

The car park is the first of four busy city car parks which will see the benefits of a £280,000 upgrade in the coming weeks.

Under the new system drivers will approach entry barriers to the car park and instead of getting a ticket their number plate will be logged by an automatic camera.

After they've completed their business in the city centre, drivers can pay for their parking by simply recording their registration plate on the new machines and then pay the fee due by cash, contactless or card at the new machines set up on each floor.

When they reach the exit an automatic camera will read their number plate and raise the barrier to let them leave.

Mark Thomas, Cabinet Member for Environment and Infrastructure, said: "These state-of-the-art machines are much-needed and will be welcome replacements for the old payment equipment that has reached the end of its useful life."

He said: "Going ticketless makes sense because it will speed-up entry to the car parks, reduce the hassle of having to look after a ticket and makes leaving a little bit easier as well.

"All people have to do is drive into the car park, park-up, pay for their parking on the way back to their car and drive out. Those drivers who forget to pay at one of the main machines will have the option of paying by card or contactless at the exit barrier."

The technology being used is similar to that which identifies motorists' vehicles using supermarket and car parks where time limits are placed on free parking for customers.

Cllr Thomas said: "Swansea isn't the first to use these kinds of machines and the technology is tried, tested and trusted. They're in use in cities and at some airports around the world.

"Even so, to start with our staff will be on site at the Quadrant to help guide people through the new system. But going ticketless is easy and straightforward."

He said: "The entrance to Quadrant Car Park is likely to be busier than normal at the weekend as drivers get used to the new system, so visitors are asked to be patient."

But he added: "As always, Sunday parking at the Quadrant will remain free of charge. Customers won't need to use the payment points as barriers will be raised automatically at entry and exit points when they're approached by a car."

The technology being used to support the system is called Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and is in use at thousands of free and paid-for car parks around Wales and the UK.

The same equipment is being introduced at High Street Multi Storey Car Park and at the council's two park and ride sites on Fabian Way and Landore in the coming weeks.

FAQs

What are the new machines about?

They are a hassle-free way to pay for your parking using contactless, cards or cash. If you've parked at an airport or a paid-for car park in other cities, you may have seen similar systems in operation.

Why are they ticketless?

You don't need the hassle of picking up a ticket to pay for parking because the system does all the work using camera systems to recognise your car on entry and exit.

So, what do I need to do?

Apart from not taking a ticket, you don't need to do anything different when you come into the car park or when you leave.

Step 1: You pass into the car park as normal. An automatic number plate recognition camera takes your number plate as you come in so you don't need a ticket.

Step 2: On your way back to your car you type in your number plate at the payment point and pay for your parking in the usual way by cash, contactless or card. There's a choice button on the keypad so you can do it in English or Welsh.

Step 3: You exit the car park when the camera recognises your number plate and raises the barrier. If you've forgotten to pay, you can pay using contactless or card at the exit point

What if I've forgotten to pay at the machine?

No problem. Although it's easier to pay using the pay on foot machines located on each floor, you can pay contactless or by card at the exit point

Do I need to remember my registration number?

Yes. You need to type it into the machine at the payment point so that your car is identified and you can pay for the time you've been parked.

What about Sundays when parking is free?

As always, Sunday parking at the Quadrant will remain free of charge. Customers won't need to use the payment points as barriers will be raised automatically at entry and exit points when they're approached by a car.

Is the technology new?

No. It's been in use for many years. It's called Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) and it's used in paid-for and free car parks up and down the country. For example if you go to a supermarket car park or a motorway services car park where free parking might be limited to two hours, it will be an ANPR system which identifies your car on entry and on exit.

What if I need advice?

It's easy to get used to because the only change is that you don't need a ticket. But in the early days we'll have staff available at the entry point and at payment machines to help explain.

I'm a blue badge-holder? How does the system recognise me?

Blue badge holders pay the same rate as other car park users. Dedicated car parking spaces are available as normal.

I am a permit holder. How am I affected?

We have informed the major business organisations who have permits arranged with us. If you need further information about the changes you may need to make as part of this process, please check car.parks@swansea.gov.uk

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