In an Australian first, motorists can now access new digital parking technology that guides them to available parking spaces within the Newcastle CBD.
The Find & Park function is the latest addition to City of Newcastle’s popular EasyPark app, which allows users to pay for parking and top up any additional time needed, remotely, using just their smart phone.
Find & Park has helped revolutionise parking in several European cities, and now Newcastle has been selected as the first city in Australia.
Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen said Find & Park was a game changer for parking in the city and would build on the success of the EasyPark app
, which has now surpassed cash payments as the second most popular way to pay for parking behind credit card transactions.
“Find & Park takes the stress out of driving by providing motorists with clear, concise information on where best to find a park,” he said.
“It is an incredibly intelligent form of technology that has been adopted by some of the world’s smartest and most technologically savvy cities, such as Stockholm, Copenhagen, Berlin, Rome, Milan and Barcelona.”
To use Find & Park, motorists just need to open the EasyPark app and click ‘Find’, then enter their destination.
An in-built map then guides them to the best parking area which is closest to their destination.
The Find & Park map provides motorists with colour-coded ‘easy’, ‘moderate’ or ‘difficult’ options for on-street parking closest to their destination.
Data collected from a survey of parking spaces available in the city across a six-week period will initially inform the app, which will be refined and improved with the parking data generated by users.
Cr Clausen said the new Park and Find function would play a major role in easing congestion caused by motorists searching for parks.
“Information provided by EasyPark shows about 30 per cent of traffic in congested European cities, where the technology originates, is caused by people searching for parking,” he said.
“The technology will allow motorists to make better informed parking decisions, just like red and green parking indicators have done for drivers accessing car parks at major shopping centres in Newcastle and elsewhere.”
Currently, the Find & Park service is only available within the Newcastle CBD. City of Newcastle is currently working on expanding the footprint to other parts of the LGA.
Last month, City of Newcastle recorded 45,517 EasyPark transactions, close to 8,000 more than the 37,528 transactions recorded for cash payments.
The popularity of digital payments has been attributed to the City’s 25 per cent discount on parking rates introduced in January and extended to the end of 2019.
Separately, free parking at the mall parking station on Saturdays has also been extended until the end of 2019 to help free up on-street parking in the CBD.
The EasyPark app can be downloaded via the Apple app store by typing EasyPark or at Google Play for Android users. Just look for the bright pink square with the white ‘e’ in it
Motorists can also call EasyPark on 1300 734 070 for assistance with the app.
Drivers are reminded to adhere to NSW laws governing correct phone use while driving, such as using a fixed phone cradle only to make and take calls. For further information on this, visit https://roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/stayingsafe/mobilephones/know-the-rules.html