Car park payment machines going cash-free to keep people safe

Parking in Plymouth’s car parks and on-street bays is being made cash-free as part of a package of measures to help people stay safe as the city begins to reopen.

Parking charges in the council’s city centre car parks will be re-introduced from Friday 5 June but payment machines will no longer accept cash, to help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Instead people will have to pay by credit or debit card.

Plans are also now underway for all the city council’s parking machines including on-street to be completely cash-free by the end of Summer. Instead all customers will be asked to pay by RingGo, via the mobile phone app, website or by phone, although the council is also looking at introducing other contactless payment systems as well.

Other measures being brought in to make sure parking is as safe as possible in the city’s multi storey car parks. They include:

  • Two-metre safe distancing markers around all payment facilities
  • Signs to remind people to keep safe and keep their distance
  • Clear directions for people walking to and from their cars in multi-storey car parks, including separate staircases designated up and down to reduce the likelihood of people getting too close
  • Lifts signed for safe distancing with only members of the same household to share lifts at any one time        
  • An enhanced cleaning regime, with particular attention paid to areas people may touch – such as payment systems, stairwells, handrails, lift areas and doors

Councillor Mark Coker, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Infrastructure, said: “Although restrictions are being eased we know we need to maintain social distancing and other measures to limit the spread of the virus. We want to minimise the need for people to touch our payment machines wherever possible as this helps to protect them, other customers and staff.

"With RingGo, you can pay for your parking by phone or even before you leave home and there is no ticket to display. If you do need to use a payment machine we would advise carrying hand sanitiser and cleaning your hands before and after. Many businesses have already moved to cashless systems and plans were already in place to do this, but the roll-out is now much quicker as part of the Council’s response to the COVID-19 emergency.”

A 20p RingGo usage charge has been removed and people will only pay the parking tariff.

All council-owned pay and display car parks except Meavy Way (long stay), William Prance Road (Derriford for commuters) and Broadway (long stay) have debit and credit card payment options. These will be upgraded as a priority over the coming weeks. On-street machines can only accept cash or RingGo. We are therefore working to introduce debit/credit and contactless payments on-street, moving to cashless payment by the end of the summer.

Details of payment methods accepted in each car park from Friday 5 June can be found at www.plymouth.gov.uk/parkingandtravel/findsomewherepark.

To download the RingGo app visit www.myringgo.co.uk