New parking sensor app to be introduced in Westminster

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Parking stock
Yui Mok/PA WIRE

Parking in the City of Westminster could be made far less stressful for London-bound drivers, as the local council have announced the installation of 3,000 sensors on roadside parking spaces.

The revelation of the ParkRight road app – free to download on smartphones – can save motorists the time, hassle and fuel waste on searching for parking spaces on roads that are already fully accommodated, by hooking up with the sensors.

A study conducted by IBM found that drivers spend an average of 15 minutes looking for somewhere to park, contributing to congestion, pollution and sheer frustration. For the approximate 600,000 drivers that enter central London every day, the news of the app's co-operation with the new roadside sensors will inevitably come as a relief.

Savile Row, Jermyn Street and St. John's Wood High Street are roads that have trialled the parking sensors successfully, with a new trial stretching from south Marylebone to south Fitzrovia, through Mayfair to St James's and across to Soho, Covent Garden and the Strand as it spreads through the capital, with 7,000 new sensors planned.

Revenue and paid-for-parking is funding the sensors, which use infrared connection to notify a minute-by-minute central database of the availability of parking bays. The ParkRight app then allows users to access the database, results being shown on a map through colour-coding, referring to whether less than 20 per cent of spaces are available (red); 20-40 per cent free (amber) or over 40 per cent (green).

For safety reasons, officials have warned drivers that the app should only be used when pulled up on the side of the road or whilst using a safe sat-nav system – not whilst driving.

The news of the introduction of more parking sensors would ultimately make the Westminster area the first local authority to spread the technology throughout its entire road network.

Author: Dan Godfrey