Westminster City Council representatives talk about using technology to make it easier to find parking spots in the West End of London and hope that the data collected can help in improving parking policies.
Computerworld UK spoke to Westminster City Council’s Jo Lodge, head of BI and GIS and Lewis Johnson, information analyst in the parking services division, about the app which collects data on available parking spots and sends it not only to users in real-time but also street marshals who can use the information to tell drivers where to park. The app was launched about three weeks ago and has had over 1,000 downloads.
According to Lodge: “People used to load data into a spreadsheet and then spend four days trying to manipulate it just to answer a few questions. We can now bring all the cashless information (data from mobile parking payments), which is millions of rows of information, and link that to the geographic information system… you start to notice that one street is occupied 100% of the time, whilst one around the corner is occupied 30% of the time. People obviously don’t know that there is parking close by.”
Johnson added that they “wanted to see if we could change the parking behaviour through a smartphone application and marshals.”
The two agreed that by analysing data, tariffs can be increased in streets where demand is high and lowered in quieter streets.
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