Many drivers avoiding pay-by-phone parking bays, study finds

Many drivers avoiding pay-by-phone parking bays, study finds

More than two-thirds of UK drivers would prefer to avoid pay-by-phone parking areas if paying with cash is available instead, according to a recent study.

A recent survey has found that more than two-thirds of UK drivers avoid parking bays that require payment via a phone call, text message or phone app and would rather pay with cash.

In recent years, UK councils have replaced many cash operated parking machines with phone and voice controlled systems. Under EU rules, all parking machines will be required to offer cashless payment options by 2020.

But the AA recently surveyed 16,000 drivers in Britain and 70 per cent said they are more likely to drive past parking options with these payment methods in favour of a parking area with a cash operated system.

This survey follows an earlier report by the AA which found that one in five UK councils had yet to convert all of their parking machines to accept the new £1 coin.

Nevertheless, many motorists are evidently put off by the process of paying for parking by phone or text, which can take several minutes as drivers are required to call a number, select appropriate options and enter payment details before waiting for confirmation.

The head of roads policy at the AA, Jack Cousens, commented: “Parking in town centres can be troublesome at the best of times.

“Not only can it be a struggle to find a space but now, when you do find one, you may be required to talk to an automated system to pay the charge – not ideal if you have an appointment or just want to get in and get out quickly.”

Cousens also said: “More than half of drivers (52 per cent) don’t care how they pay, as long as it is easy to do so. Putting administration fees on parking, not yet accepting the new £1 coin, having to enter your registration number or failing to provide change are all stumbling blocks our struggling high streets cannot afford if they deter potential customers.”

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