Technology Supports the Reopening of Towns and Cities in 13 Councils across England and Wales during COVID-19 Pandemic
Hatfield, Hertfordshire, 25 August 2020 – Thirteen councils across England and Wales have moved quickly to safeguard their residents, visitors and employees by implementing cashless parking payment solutions from global parking payment provider PayByPhone as the country adjusts to life after lockdown. The World Health Organisation (WHO) advised against using cash payments whenever possible to mitigate the risk of transmitting the virus.[i]
“We have had 13 highly-responsible councils of all sizes – from Northumberland County Council in the north to Dymchurch Parish Council in the south – approach us because they know that as more people take to their cars, cashless parking is an urgent requirement to keep their residents, visitors and council employees safe not only by not handling coins and notes but also by reducing the risk of picking up the virus when touching parking machines,” says Jonny Combe, PayByPhone UK CEO.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, PayByPhone has seen a significant increase in the number of councils who have approached them asking to introduce its cashless parking payment technology.
Cllr Glen Sanderson, Cabinet Member for Environment and Local Services, Northumberland County Council, says, “We wanted to explore a cashless payment option and get it implemented as quickly as possible, not only to ensure the welfare of people in our area and our staff, but also to give visitors more flexible payment options. PayByPhone has worked with us in a very tight time frame to get us up and running, allowing people to travel and to park with confidence and safety.”
PayByPhone is providing its council clients with COVID-19 Response Packs that contain helpful information and signage councils can use to ensure drivers are aware of the new cashless option and are able to use the PayByPhone service safely, simply and without fear.
Combe adds, “Providing a cashless option is the morally right thing to do during this pandemic as we can see from the retail and hospitality sectors, who are wholeheartedly advocating cashless payments. People must feel comfortable when they venture out, and part of that level of security should be in the form of cashless parking payments. Why would anyone want to handle cash and touch the same machines as other people when they have their own personal solution in their pocket – their phone.”
When using phones to pay via contactless or via apps, it’s important to clean the device with alcohol-based wipes regularly. Phones can pick up germs from surfaces on which they are placed, potentially then transferring them to hands or faces.
The 13 new councils - Blaby District Council, Blackpool Council, Bracknell Forest Council, Conwy County Borough Council, Denbighshire County Council, Durham County Council, Dymchurch Parish Council, East Staffordshire Borough Council, Gwynedd Council, Isle of Anglesey County Council, Melton Borough Council, Northumberland County Council, North West Leicestershire District Council – will also reap the cost-saving benefits of using a cashless parking payment solution.