Cobalt Telephone Technologies today (3 April) announced its 10 millionth registered UK RingGo user. Georgina Egan, a National Children’s Charity worker from Stevenage, used the UK’s biggest cashless parking service for the first time in London last month. She parked her Abarth 595 in East Heath car park, Hampstead Heath, for 6 hours while attending a training course.
The RingGo cashless parking solution has come a long way since its launch in 2003. RingGo’s first live offering was in 2004 at Bristol Parkway on the First Great Western railway. It rolled out to the whole of the network the following year.
Now the service covers 400 towns and cities across the UK, with more than £200 million pounds of parking revenue collected on behalf of local authorities and private parking operators in the last year alone.
Originally conceived as a voice and online solution, in recent years app usage has far outstripped the calling option. Some councils have over 80 per cent app usage but others lag behind, hampered by Department for Transport signage legislation, which states that where a parking machine has been removed, only a phone or text number can be shown.
London Councils such as Westminster (45 per cent app usage), Islington (49 per cent) and Camden (50 per cent) have all been affected, as RingGo parking combined with a reduction in coin usage has enabled them to reduce their machine fleet significantly.
With the British public increasingly running their lives via smartphone, and with parking often costing significantly more than a pocketful of change, the popularity of RingGo will only continue. New local authorities are signing up all the time, and many councils are following the lead of the London Councils by removing expensive and vulnerable coin machines as payments transfer to digital.
Since the start of this year, the City of London, Aberdeenshire, Fife, London Borough of Bexley, Medway, Perth and Kinross, and Warrington Borough Council have all joined RingGo.
Harry Clarke, founder of parent company, Cobalt Telephone Technologies, says of the success of his idea: “It’s simply staggering how much RingGo has become a household name, now used by over 100,000 motorists every day. When I started this service in 2003, I couldn’t imagine that Councils would soon be removing machines on a wholesale basis.
“At the time it was a novel and unsettling idea – people thought they would get penalty charges if they didn’t leave a paper ticket on the dashboard! We had to convince operators and motorists that the technology would work, but we had no idea how big RingGo could become.
“It’s only 5 years since we hit the 4 million registration mark and now we’re celebrating our 10 millionth motorist. We’ve created a simple to use service that makes drivers’ lives easier. The rest is just down to word of mouth.”