Today (15 June) at Parkex the team behind the UK’s leading cashless parking service, RingGo, is demonstrating how private operators and local authorities are slashing their machine upgrade costs by using RingGo’s specially-designed “corsets”.
These innovative “topless bags” have been developed by parent company, Cobalt Telephone Technologies, to allow operators and parking departments to avoid costs of around £200 per machine to upgrade equipment for the new £1 coin. Instead they pay just £20 to take a machine out of action. Motorists are encouraged to pay by RingGo – saving the operating costs of cash – or they can walk to an alternative machine.
With some larger authorities managing thousands of machines, the difference in upgrade budgets alone can be substantial Harry Clarke, Commercial Director for RingGo, explains, “We’ve been offering RingGo corsets for a few years now because operators don’t need as many machines as more and more drivers go cashless. But the increase in interest and usage over the last 12 months has been phenomenal. Heads of parking departments are beginning to realise just how much it’s going to cost them to upgrade all their machines and are understandably looking for alternatives.
“When there’s a quick – significantly cheaper – option, which has the added financial benefit of moving coin payments to cashless, it’s hardly surprising that managers are beating a path to our door. In Camden, for instance, their machine maintenance and repair budget is 70 per cent lower than it was prior to machine removal, and they’re seeing similar reductions in cash collection, processing and banking. It all adds up to significant savings.”
Clarke concludes, “We may be seen as the agent provocateur of machine removal, but we certainly expect ‘corsets’ to be a major talking point at Parkex and beyond!”
Those ordering and using RingGo corsets this year include the London Boroughs of Brent and Bromley, as well as local authorities such as Dover, East Sussex and Warwickshire County. Private rail operators including Chiltern Rail and Northern Rail have also removed machines from service with an accompanying increase in use of cashless parking.
Some RingGo customers, such as Camden and Brent, are using corsets to trial and complete large scale machine removal (up to two thirds of their base) whereas others are reducing on a more piecemeal basis.
 Estimate based on a medium sized local authority customer of RingGo