UK Parking Space Data Offered to App Developers
Data on parking spaces across the UK is set to be standardized, is the hope that it will make finding and paying for parking easier.
From Thursday, local councils are now able to issue parking data in the same format.
This means that apps could potentially collate such data and allow drivers to easy find spaces before they leave home.
However, one expert said he did not feel this would costly parking in town centers.
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The government hopes that local councils and companies that issue parking data will switch to the standardized format.
Apps could then gather that data and allow road users to find convenient spaces or pay for their parking online.
These apps could also show the cheapest spaces, or those that are located next to electric car charging points.
The new standards will first be tested in Manchester, Oxfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and parts of Essex, where councils will be given a share of a £1m fund for research projects.
“Rights for a parking space and then checking if you have the right change to pay for it isn’t the best start to any shopping experience” said local government minister Rishi Sunak.
“An intelligent parking system makes life easier for commuters, and also improve footstep to our town centers – meaning both people and local businesses benefit.”
A government report, published in March, into transport innovation in towns and cities said that new technology could help provide more green spaces by reducing the number of parking spaces.
Announcing the new project, Future of Mobility Minister Michael Ellis said new technologies could bring a transport “revolution” and help make for “cleaner, cheaper, safer and more reliable journeys.”
It was not a given, though, that apps built with the newly standardized data really would revolutionize parking, said Steve Vollar, a parking consultant at consultants Hill Cannon.
He also said there would be privacy tensions: “There will be a lobby who will object to online payment details and knowledge of their movements.”