RingGo

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RingGo is a pay by phone parking service offered in public car parks and on-street locations in the United Kingdom. The first major implementation (from June 2006) was for the First Great Western Railway. 60 stations were involved such as Taplow railway station. In February 2009, further stations were added, taking the total to 72 (although not offered at the Reading station multi-storey car park due to a major investment in a chip coin system).

The project by the First Group, was an early step in the trend away from the established system of paying for parking using electro-mechanical machines which dispense paper tickets – the pay and display model.

Since then, several Network Rail, Chiltern Railways, South West Trains, First Capital Connect, National Express East Anglia, C2C, Transpennine Express, Arriva Trains Wales, East Coast Railway railway station car parks have implemented RingGo (between August 2008 and September 2010).

The service is also offered in NCP operated and managed car parks since March 2010. Parking is an area in which electronic money as opposed to cash-money is making advances.

The advantages to members of the public of phone parking services are:

  • Avoidance of the need to have coinage,
  • The ability to pay the correct amount only,
  • Security – payment can be made from within a locked car,
  • Can extend without having to go back to the car,
  • Company accounts which are available only to nominated vehicles or drivers can cut expense claim administration costs.

The advantages to car park operators are:

  • The reduction in theft from and vandalism to coin based machinery,
  • Lower capital costs when contrasted with buying new parking machines,
  • Reduction in cash handling costs such as banking, counterfeit £1 coins and shrinkage,
  • Ability to save on enforcement costs, particularly if phone parking is integrated with automatic number plate recognition.

On 1 October 2009, Richmond Council introduced variable parking charges which were linked to the carbon dioxide emissions of vehicles parking there (carbon metered parking). Payment of the service was either via RingGo or by a Richmond smart card, which could be used in the machine.

RingGo phone parking is being used as a method of payment for Portsmouth City Council's Park and Ride service (since May 2010).

Milton Keynes Council provides online parking permits that are linked to the vehicle registration plate and enforced via RingGo.

In April 2012, Central Bedfordshire Council started using the RingGo advanced digital parking solution, which incorporates RingGo pay by phone parking with machine payments where the motorist enters the vehicle registration plate, together with Automatic Number Plate recognition ANPR.

The RingGo brand is owned by Cobalt Telephone Technologies Ltd, a UK private company.

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