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'Pay by text' parking scheme to be piloted in Athlone

Wednesday, 19th July, 2017 1:32pm

'Pay by text' parking scheme to be piloted in Athlone

When using council carparks in Athlone you may soon be able to bypass the parking meters and pay by text message instead.

The council recently said it intends to try out a 'pay by text' scheme in one area of town on a pilot basis later this year.

If it proves successful, the scheme would then be rolled out to all of the council's local carparks.

The topic was raised for discussion by Mayor Aengus O'Rourke at the July meeting of the Athlone Municipal District.

His motion called on the local authority to examine the possibility of "enabling automated payments for car parking in our public car parks, as is the practice in other towns."

Cllr O'Rourke said he believed it wasn't so much the cost but the inconvenience of paid parking that many people struggled with.

"I know myself what's it's like when you are parking with four kids in Fairgreen. What do you do when you don't have any change?" he said.

He pointed out that 'pay by text' schemes were already operating successfully in other parts of the country and could make life easier for motorists in Athlone.

In its written reply to Cllr O'Rourke's motion, the local authority said: "The Paid Parking Section of Athlone Municipal District upgraded the hand held devices used by our Traffic Wardens on June 29 last which will facilitate them accessing data relating to pay by text from a central controller.

"It is hoped that the District would pilot a pay by text scheme later this year in an area of the town with a view to rolling it out for the full town if it proves successful," stated the reply.

Cllr O'Rourke said he was "delighted" with the response and he hoped the pilot scheme would be a success.

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