Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology enables officers to cover beats more efficiently.
Newcastle City Council operates eight city centre multi-storey car parks, and 47 surface car parks, providing some 5,900 parking spaces. There are a further 2,300 on-street pay and display parking spaces across Newcastle, and 14,500 resident and visitor permits issued.
Working on foot, Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) are time constrained with the number of on- and off-street parking areas they can visit in a shift.
In addition, infringements of parking restrictions in the residential areas is commonplace and leads to a high level of complaints and demands on the CEOs time.
Furthermore, the parking service needs to drive to their beats in diesel-powered vehicles, adding to the problem of air quality in the city.
The Council sought to develop a parking solution to enable CEOs to cover more locations quickly and efficiently while also promoting travel by sustainable modes.
Solving the problem
A composite solution was developed that incorporated the use of E-bikes fitted with ANPR cameras.
Automatic number-plate recognition (ANPR) is a technology that uses optical character recognition on images to read vehicle registration plates.
The cameras would allow CEOs to readily identify parking violations based on the integrated data from the virtual permit and payment data integration. The E-bikes would allow the CEOs to cover their beats more quickly and take advantage of the additional efficiencies offered by a beat optimisation solution.
The feasibility study undertaken in 2019 by the Newcastle City Council and Urban Foresight partnership identified significant operational savings and revenue generating potential, valued at £250k over a 5-year period.