Reigate & Banstead Borough Council is saving thousands of pounds – and generating even more – by removing pay and display machines and shifting payments to RingGo cashless parking.
The move is part of a council objective to become financially self-sufficient by the year 2020. This follows the ending of the central government revenue support grant in April of this year.
The council saved £60,000 by not replacing 16 machines at a cost of £3,750 a pop. And in just six months a further £2,300 expenditure has been avoided through reduced cash collections and processing.
Reigate & Banstead is also benefiting from an increase in parking income of almost £56,000 on the back of motorists moving to RingGo. Interestingly, motorists find that the ease of using cashless parking means they stay longer, and the average transaction value is now six per cent higher than it was six months ago.
RingGo allows drivers to extend their parking sessions wherever they are – if they want to linger over lunch or if a meeting overruns, for example. The number of these extensions in Reigate & Banstead has increased sharply, with 50% more parking sessions prolonged than in the previous period – an outcome which has obvious benefits for the local economy and businesses in the area.
While machine removal has been the greatest driver of change, the council has supported the transfer to cashless parking with promotional activities too. Two sets of campaigns operated during the six month period: one in the run up to Christmas included “RingGo Explainer Days”. On these occasions promotional staff operated in each of the local car parks, helping motorists register with RingGo and demonstrating how the service works. This was supported with PR, social media activity and refreshed promotions on machines in all car parks.
The second initiative featured a prize draw to win a month’s free parking, with entrants selected from those downloading and using the RingGo app. This was again supported by PR, web and social media communications.
Jacquie Joseph, parking & business support services manager for Reigate & Banstead Borough Council, said of these initiatives: 'We’ve been delighted at how successful this RingGo campaign has been. The return on investment has been astonishing. With just a few thousand pounds we’ve made savings worth 20 times that, and increased revenues by a similar amount too.
Not only that, but the increase in revenue is ongoing, so we’ll benefit from now on. It’s certainly contributing to the Council’s goal of being financially self-sufficient by 2020.'
Peter O’Driscoll, UK country manager for RingGo, comments: 'Councils across the country are having to find innovative ways to make efficiencies and improve income. With pay and display machines costing several thousand pounds each, Councils can make significant expenditure savings by reducing or removing their fleet, and the example of Reigate & Banstead shows just how effective this can be.
'Few realise that on top of the substantial one-off savings, RingGo increases revenues on an ongoing basis. With the general trend towards cashless payments and away from coins, we’re expecting many more councils to follow suit.'