From April, Transport for Buckinghamshire (TfB) will be trialling ‘Smart Tab’ parking sensors in limited-waiting parking bays across Marlow.
‘Smart Tabs’ are sensors fitted into the road surface that detect when a vehicle enters and leaves a parking bay. They will be placed in each individually marked out limited waiting bay in Marlow, including Blue Badge holder bays.
The sensors themselves are not used to issue parking tickets, but they allow enforcement officers to more effectively check that limited waiting bays are not abused. This should lead to a higher turnover of spaces in the town centre. The sensors communicate via wi-fi to communications units discretely mounted on lamp columns.
This kind of real-time technology is ideally suited for all limited time waiting bays, but each bay will have its individual business rules, hours of operation and limited time restrictions programmed into the system. Custom grace periods can also be built into the alert function.
As well as aiding the work of civil enforcement officers (parking wardens), this technology will provide real-time and historical data for the on-street parking in Marlow, including average stay times, turnover rates, heat maps, contravention rates and enforcement efficiency. This information will be used to underpin and provide evidence for all parking policy decisions.
The information will also help to define how bays are used and the need for defined bays and set time restrictions. This will allow us to make informed decisions that have the potential to help local businesses by increasing foot-fall and reducing congestion.
Marlow residents and visitors will also have the opportunity to use the ‘Smart Parking’ app which gives live availability and guidance to on-street parking spaces, making parking in the town that bit easier. If the trial is successful, it is intended that the technology will be installed in other locations in the county.
Although installation of these sensors is quick, there will be some disruption while these works are carried out but TfB will, of course, aim to keep this to a minimum.
Deputy Leader and Transport Cabinet Member Mark Shaw said: “The new ‘Smart Tab’ parking sensors are an innovative idea that will be incredibly beneficial to our parking enforcement officers and the TfB parking team. Whilst the residents of Marlow might initially experience some minor disruption when these are installed, I am confident that the benefits of this technology will be worth it.”