April is known for its inclement weather, but it’s been raining RingGo roll outs for Cobalt’s expert Implementation Team. With six local authority launches and one private operator extension in just fifteen days, the five-strong RingGo project team has planned the roll outs with military precision to ensure every aspect goes smoothly.
The first two launching, on 1 and 4 April respectively, were Kirklees Council and Waverley Borough Council: both of which had added complexity because they were transferring from alternative pay by phone providers. Good communication is key for such projects so motorists are clear on what is changing.
These two were quickly followed on 6 April by Warwickshire County Council, which needed on street signage across Kenilworth, Leamington Spa, Rugby, Stratford upon Avon and Warwick.
Chiltern Railways started a trial at Warwick Parkway and Beaconsfield Stations on 11 April, using Cobalt Telephone Technologies’ fixed ANPR camera solution. Going live on the Monday required the team to erect signage and bag up machines with RingGo corsets, over the weekend.
And finally three Councils are rolling out today (15 April): Lancashire County, South Ribble and Wyre, which all form part of the Lancashire County framework agreement.
With 112 local authorities already offering RingGo, the six additional Councils increase availability in northern and central England as well as extending coverage in the key South East – an area which has recently benefited from launches in Elmbridge and Runnymede.
Cobalt’s newly appointed Director of Professional Services, Dave Mitchell, comments, “It’s been an extremely busy time for the team, managing so many set ups and roll outs across the country. The flip side of course is that it’s great to see RingGo’s footprint extend across the UK. More and more drivers find, when they park in a new town, that they can use their existing RingGo membership straightaway!
“While we have great expertise in this area, setting up new cashless parking operations is rarely straightforward. All tariffs in each area must be configured precisely to match those in operation and every machine sticker needs to show the correct zone. Back office processes, training and enforcement, as well as payment and reconciliation processes, require rigorous attention to detail.
“In the case of Chiltern Railways, operations were more complex due to the removal of machines and testing of fixed ANPR cameras for enforcement.
“People may think pay by phone is a vanilla product but, continuing the ice cream image, our experience shows there are sprinkles, flakes and hundreds and thousands of details to get right!”