RingGo – click to access
The York Council has been criticised by users of the Pay by Phone car parking system for giving only 48 hours notice of a change in contractor.
The move means that users may have to re-register their phones with the new provider RingGo.
It takes about 15 minutes to set up the new RingGo app. The numeric car park identifiers are also being changed.
32 RingGo parking sites in York are listed on their web site.
No explanation for the change has been offered by the Council and it remains unclear who, for what reason and at what cost the change has been made.
The previous “Pay by phone” contractor was widely praised for the ease of use of its mobile phone “app” The system was introduced in the last decade as a way of eliminating the need for drivers to have change for the ticket cash machines. Cashless transactions are generally cheaper for the Council to administer and have lower security risks.
In a statement issued yesterday the York Council said,
“motorists who use their mobile phone to pay for car parking in York are being warned about changes which may affect them from this Saturday (1 July).
From the weekend, the service will be provided by a new company – called RingGo.
It may mean some drivers will need to download a new app to their phone or dial a different number to pay for their parking.
New location codes are also being introduced, but these are being clearly displayed on signage in all car parks where the service is available.
Nine car parks and two coach parking areas are covered by RingGo.
Beyond that, there are no other changes and there will still be no need for motorists to scrabble around to find loose change for a ticket machine.
Minster badge holders will continue to receive a discount in all car parks apart from the one at Foss Bank.
Pay-by-phone has been running in York for several years and with drivers appreciating how easy it is to park with a credit or debit card and just a mobile phone.
Users of the old service must ensure they register with RingGo. The process only takes a few minutes and can be completed by phone or online.
Instructions, and more information about parking-by-phone is available on the council’s website: york.gov.uk/PayParkingByPhone
With a survey of public opinion in the Westfield area almost half way complete, lack of car parking space is once again emerging as a key issue.
Relatively narrow roads and limited off street space in gardens means that many vehicles clog the streets.
So what to do if a vehicle is obstructing access to you driveway?
A Council response to a FOI request gives some information
The York Council says, “officers do not work 24 hours per day. There will be times late into the evening and early morning where parking enforcement is not available as is the case across the UK for Local Authority parking enforcement.
The issuing of PCNs is only permissible by the appropriate officers, mainly Civil Enforcement Officers (CEO), who have to witness and decide if a potentially illegally parked vehicle is parked illegally.
The CEO statement and PCN is legal evidence in itself and if challenged this can be used in the appeal process.
A PCN can be issued on a H bar but also on any vehicle that is blocking a dropped kerb, whether there are parking restrictions in place or not, such as double yellow lines.
The dropped kerb is taking to be when the slope begins.
Use of the parking hotline is anonymous and no names or contact information is passed to the Parking Enforcement service. If a vehicle happens to move on during this time and before the officer gets there then there is little we can do as the officer needs to see the vehicle in situ.
When reporting a vehicle to the parking hotline, we have a policy to attend the scene within 45 minutes where possible during the operational hours officers are working.
Parking Hotline number tel: 0800 1381119
Local Liberal Democrats are conducting a door to door survey in the Windsor Garth area following escalating problems with car parking.
The problems have been exacerbated by recent developments and the Liberal Democrats now want to see alternative parking spaces provided if the proposed demolition of garages on Newbury Avenue gets the go ahead.
Plans for the garage site development are expect to be published late next month with a referral to the planning committee expected before the end of the summer.
Local residents anticipate that a section 106 notice will be served requiring the developers to fund alternative parking space.
The Council stopped re-letting empty garages as long ago as 2012 – a step which has made the lack of off street car parking space an acute problem.
Some of the possible sites for new parking lay-by area shown on the map below.
Park and Ride network
It seems that the council has finally received a bid to run its park and ride service. When the contract was first advertised no bids were forthcoming.
In the main the service will continue at it is today.
Key changes include
- a facility to use contactless bank cards to pay for journeys.
- Motorists will be able to park overnights (for up to three days) at the Askham Bar and Monks Cross sites (involving the provision of barrier access).
- New Euro VI compliant buses including the replacement of some articulated single deck buses with double deckers
- 11 single deck fully electric buses will be retained together with 3 fully electric double deckers
New Alexander Dennis Enviro 400MMC buses proposed
However users face a fare hike from £2-90 to £3-10 with a 10 minute frequency.
A number of enhancements including a late night service are on offer but are unlikely to be accepted for cost reasons.
The new contract will reduce the council’s income to an estimated £80,000 a year.
The Council have refused to disclose the name of the proposed operator.
The new contract will start next year.
Draft accounts published by the City of York Council for 2016/17 reveal that the Authority made a substantial surplus on its car parking activities.
Out of a total income of £7.3 million, nearly £5.5 million came from charges levied at off street car parks.
Residents parking schemes brought in £806,000 and penalty charges £600,000 while on-street machines took £466,000. The balance came from coach parks.
The Council spent over £1.3 million on its off street car parks with £1.2 million apportioned to enforcement and administration.
This meant that a surplus of over £4.7 million accrued.
Legally the Council must reinvest any parking profits in transport.
Most of the surplus was spent on highway maintenance (£4 million) and subsidised bus services (£670,000) The rest went on community transport and shopmobility.
Some drivers may wonder why more has not been invested in resurfacing Council car parks, several of which are now in very poor condition.
The inaccurate “on line” parking space availability map has also been a source of criticism.
The York Council has admitted that its plans, to reintroduce web site information on the availability of car parking spaces, has run into more problems.
It is over 3 years since the service was discontinued. The Council had previously promised that accurate information would be available from the end of March but this deadline passed without the upgrade being completed.
Sources within the Council say that plans to install new loop counters in the surface of car parks – near entrances and exits – have had to be abandoned. Apparently the state of repair of the bitmac surfaces was too poor to allow the installation to take place (which will probably not come as a surprise to users of the Castle car park).
Blossom Street VMS
Now we understand that the Council hopes to utilise video camera based detection technology to get the system working again. This technology is currently being installed for traffic signal detection across the City.
The Council web site – as well as misrepresenting the number of parking spaces available – also lists car parks which closed some years ago.
On a more positive note, the Council has confirmed that all variable message signs in the City centre are now working with the exception of the sign on Fishergate (which is awaiting a spare part).
..but still no car park space availability info
The York Council has repaired most of the Variable Message Signs which guide drivers around the City centre. Those on Blossom Street, Bootham, Clarence Street, Lawrence Street and Heworth Green are working.
The sign on Fishergate is still faulty
All the signs have been displaying warnings about the upcoming temporary closure of Gillygate.
Unfortunately, there has been no tangible progress on reviving the car parking space availability signs or web site.
None of the parking availability signs are working.
The Council’s web site continues to list car parks that have closed and the space availability data is inaccurate.
The Council expected this issue to have been addressed before the end of March, so it is disappointing that the update was not implemented before the busy Easter holiday period began.
Residents have complained about the slow progress being made in providing parking lay-bys on some estates in west York. As reported yesterday, the Westfield Ward improvement programme is running nearly 12 months behind scheduled.
One problem area is Dijon Avenue where – because of the estate layout – only carriageway parking is possible for some properties. That space has now run out.
Dijon Avenue is one of the roads due to get an additional parking bay this year (near the amenity area)
Better news, though, on bringing empty garages back into use .
As we reported in February large numbers of Council owned garages in west York were empty.
Some had been unused for over 5 years.
Following work by LibDem Councillor Keith Aspden, the Council agreed to implement repairs where these had been the cause of the voids.
Work was ordered for garages in Bachelor Hill, Marston Ave., TheWandel/Chapelfields Rd., Wains Rd., Sowerby Rd. & Woodlea Ave., Most of these repairs – mainly to doors and brickwork – have now been completed and the garages have either been let or are under offer.
A large number of garages are, however, due to be demolished. This will exacerbate problems particularly in the Windsor Garth area.
Residents will expect the Council to invest in alternative off street parking before any demolition takes place.
The Council has promised to provide up to date details of vacancies on its web site, to advertise voids on local noticeboards and to engage ward Councillors in re-letting campaigns.
That represents progress, but it remains a concern that it took so long to re-let garages.
One consequence was a loss a loss of around £22,000 a year in rent income.
The current position on vacancies is shown below
Residents have only until the end of April to suggest uses for this years Westfield Ward Committee delegated budget.
Meanwhile progress on schemes agreed for 2016/17 has been disappointing with the Council web site recording only 14% of the budget having been spent by the end of the year. We understand that the funding – which was heavily oversubscribed – will be carried forward into the current financial year.
Damaged verges could be matrix protected
Among the schemes authorised but not yet implemented are:
- Painting and refurbishment of street furniture, signs, railings, cycle barriers etc
- Improved parking arrangements including matrix protection of verges
- Selective road and path resurfacing
- Additional flower tubs
- Trimming overgrown bushes, vegetation and trees
- Deep cleaning of shopping areas
- Provision of goalposts on Foxwood park
- Organised children’s activities in the summer at the Hob Moor all weather play area
During this year estate improvement funds – paid for by Council tenants – are being merged with the Ward Committee budget to allow for additional work to be commissioned.
This change appears to have contributed to the popular monthly skip visits being suspended. We hope that they will be reinstated quickly before fly tipping becomes even more of a problem in the area.
Residents will expect to see progress made quickly to catch up with the backlog of work.