Majority of drivers want to see the end of parking apps

Majority of drivers want to see the end of parking apps
A new survey has revealed that more than four-in-five drivers dislike using the many parking apps available in the UK.

In fact, 83% of the 1387 people who were surveyed said they preferred to use contactless card payments or cash to park – rather than downloading and creating an account for the many different apps used today.

The survey, from Autocar, discovered that drivers were concerned about online fraud and that some apps were overly complicated.

Further results from the survey found that only 14% of drivers preferred using parking apps over any other form of payment.

They stated that they found them more convenient than the physical payment machines.

Drivers in the UK have a selection of 30 different parking apps, which will need to be downloaded to park in certain areas.

Each of them will need an account and access to personal details in order to pay for parking.

In response to the growing concerns around parking, in October 2023 Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Transport Secretary Mark Harper revealed plans for a ‘national parking platform’.

The aim is to streamline this process of paying for parking, where drivers can use one system – no matter where they are leaving their vehicle.

At the time of the announcement, the Government stated that it will be live by Autumn 2024.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: “Paying for parking should be one of the simplest things any driver has to do, yet the reality has been anything but with people forced to download and register a plethora of different mobile apps depending on where they are in the country.

“The roll-out of the National Parking Platform therefore brings about some much-needed simplification and should make drivers’ lives easier.

“However, we remain concerned about the fact some councils seem intent on removing all physical parking ticket machines in favour of app-only payment – something research tells us a clear majority drivers are resolutely against.”

In June 2023, an RAC survey found that a fifth of drivers accuse councils of scrapping, or planning to scrap, parking payment machines in favour of mobile apps

The survey of 1,900 UK drivers found that one-in-10 (11%) reported some or all parking payment machines had already been removed by their local councils with an extra 8% saying their local authority was consulting on doing so.

Drivers in London were most likely to say payment machines had already gone or were due to be going (44% of respondents in the capital), followed by those in the East of England (23%) and East Midlands (22%).

The plan to scrap machines and force people to pay by app triggered a strong reaction among drivers surveyed by the RAC’s with 59% – and 73% of those aged 65 and over – saying they feel angry at the idea of physical parking machines being removed as they believe they should be able to pay for parking however they want.

A fifth of all drivers (20%) said they felt discriminated against as they simply can’t use mobile apps to pay for parking in the first place, a figure that rises to 30% of those aged 65 and over.

Just three-in-10 (31%) of drivers of all age groups are completely comfortable with payment machines being removed (and only 14% of those aged 65-plus).

What do you make of the survey results? Are you fed up with parking apps? Or are they necessary? Leave your comments below.

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