Local motorists are being advised about changes to off-street parking meters in four council-run city centre car parks, which will include the ability to pay using contactless cards.
Residents are also being encouraged to sign up for an easy-to-use app called MiPermit to make payments easier and more flexible.
Bath & North East Somerset Council is changing the card payment pads on meters in Charlotte Street, Manvers Street, Avon Street and Kingsmead Square car parks.
Due to current Payment Card Industry (PCI) data security compliance standards the council is required to remove the existing chip and pin facility and replace it with contactless payment.
Work is expected to start later this summer to change the payment pads, which will take up to three days to complete.
Once finished, it means there will be two meters in Avon Street which will accept contactless cards, one in Manvers Street, one in Kingsmead Square and two in Charlotte Street. The remaining machines will still accept coins but not cards.
All updated machines will have cash and contactless card payments and because of an upgrade to the network, the contactless payment transactions will be quicker using 3G which means they should be successful first time.
However the council is encouraging drivers to ditch cash and card and switch to the MiPermit app which means drivers can even pay for their parking before setting off or pay from the comfort of their own car when they pull into a space – avoiding having to queue at a meter.
Setting up the MiPermit app now means residents will be ready to take advantage of the 10% reduction in daily parking charges when the new Residents Parking Saver discount, is launched on 13th August.
The app also allows drivers to top-up their parking, up to the maximum time available, if they think they are about to run out of time and risk a parking ticket.
People using the app will see a 10p transaction charge, to cover administration costs. The fee is in line with most authorities and cheaper than others.
More details on the timings of the works will be publicised soon. To help members of the public Bath & North East Somerset Council car park staff will be available during the peak times, while the work is underway in Avon Street and Charlotte Street car parks to help motorists if they have any payment issues and to show them how easy the MiPermit app is.
The changes mean chip and pin won’t be available in those four car parks until later in the year when the option will become available.
Councillor Mark Shelford, (Conservative Lyncombe) cabinet member for Transport and Environment, said: “The card payment method is changing partly because we need to meet PCI compliance but also to help speed up transaction times for drivers.
“There is still the cash option, however we are recommending people sign up to MiPermit which is by far the quickest, most convenient way to pay for parking.
“There are lots of benefits to it not least that it is cashless, no queueing at a meter and it is flexible so you can even add time onto your stay if you need to park for longer without having to run back to a machine and put more money in.
“We will have staff in Avon and Charlotte Street car parks on hand to help motorists out and to advise about the MiPermit app to make the transition as smooth as possible from Thursday to Sunday next week.”