Parking app to guide drivers in Manchester

Simon Donohue

Motorists will be able to find vacant parking spaces in Manchester city centre using their mobile phones from next week.

Manchester City Council is introducing new technology on Monday 16 September in which motorists will be able to use a mobile phone app to see which bays are available.

The new technology, being tested in the city for six months and funded by the city council's contractor NSL, includes electronic sensors placed in 200 parking bays in the Northern Quarter and Chinatown areas.

The technology, which reduces the need for people to drive around looking for spaces, has been used successfully in American cities such as Los Angeles, Washington DC and New York, but this will be its first major trial in the UK.

The free Parker app, available for smartphones and tablet devices, can also act as a sat nav directing motorists to the nearest available bay.

It is voice-activated so can be used while driving, and is linked to the city council's existing pay by phone system.

The City Council and NSL are working with US-based company Streetline to trial the new system and if the trial is successful the system could be extended to other parts of the city centre.

Councillor Nigel Murphy, Manchester City Council's executive member for the environment, said: "This technology has proved very successful in US cities, where it has been welcomed by both businesses and motorists who say it has made finding parking spaces much easier and reduced the need for people to drive around looking for available bays."

Mark Hoskin, local government director from NSL, said: "We're really pleased that Manchester, as the original modern city centre, has chosen to trial Parker.

"With 30% of drivers looking for a parking space at any one time, we're confident that it will significantly reduce carbon emissions, resulting in a more pleasant and less fraught environment for all."

  • Sensors will be placed in bays in King Street, George Street, Faulkner Street, Charlotte Street, Nicholas Street, Princess Street, Tib Street, Thomas Street, Turner Street, Spear Street, Hilton Street, Stevenson Square and Newton Street.

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Yawn…so 2012…

By Primp

Not a UK first. Was installed in London with a smartphone app last year, the same company also put them into Birmingham. They obviously forgot about those

By Jedi