Getting ready for enforcement

NSL employee at the meter

Last minute preparations are still being made for civil parking enforcement. On the afternoon of Wednesday, October 14 an employee of NSL was affixing a very small explanatory notice to the meter at the top of East Street, which outlined the circumstances in which a fine may be charged.  The notice reads:

The small printed notice

We may issue a penalty charge without notice if you:

  • fail to park fully within a marked parking bay;
  • park without a valid ticket clearly on display;
  • are parked after your ticket has run out;
  • are parked for longer than the maximum time allowed;
  • park in a parking place or in part of a parking place at a time we tell you not to (for example if the parking place or part of it is suspended);
  • park in a parking place not designated for your vehicle (for example a parking place for a motorcycle); or
  • give your ticket to someone else or use it in a different parking place.

It is not clear (to the writer) how a phone-accessed permit can be displayed, when no physical ticket is issued. However, the technology is such that a photo of the vehicle taken by the enforcement officer checks with the central database and confirms whether or not a valid ticket has been purchased.

The enforcement officer told me that he is employed by NSL, part of Marston Holdings Ltd, which claims to be the UK’s largest transportation and enforcement services company.

NSL states on its website that it works on behalf of local and central government, airports and the private sector across the UK, offering on-street parking services, enforcement, passenger transport, street and estate management, business process management and technical design consultancy services.

Image Credits: Kenneth Bird .


    • My first experience was an unnecessary 90p charge for 30 minutes! I didn’t read any ‘small print’ and accepted the Ringo offer of a text to warn me when my time was about to expire. I hadn’t realised that each text cost 25p and I got 2!
      My advice (and what I’ve done) – remove or don’t install the app and stock up on 20p’s.

  1. It’s really straightforward.

    The enforcement officer can see (on their handheld device) a list of all registration numbers that have paid to park by phone. Likewise they check for people who have resident’s permits (in those designated zones) based on registration number, not a physical paper permit displayed.

    It’s really no different to the way valid road tax is verified – we’ve not had the need for paper tax discs for years.

    On the second point, the fee charged is shown on the phone app in a breakdown of the total cost before you make the booking.

    These systems have been up and running successfully for years elsewhere – and have enabled pay and display machines to be entirely removed in sensitive historic areas.

    Too bad people were not willing to embrace Park-by-Phone completely – then we wouldn’t need the ugly machines all over town now.

  2. This was raised on another thread and answered by Robert Dalton. He advises the charge is 50p – even if you are only paying 20p for your stay – so a supply of coins is recommended.

      • Plus the Ringo ‘convenience fee’ surely? Mine was 17p plus VAT = 20p. That’s a 50% increase on the real cost of parking for one hour.
        If you know how to park using the app for the same cost as the machines please let me know!

        • Please read what I actually wrote in my post. The FEE was 20p.

          I believe the fee is 20p no matter the parking duration – so it’s proportionately less the longer you park for.

          The app is more expensive – correct. But also hugely more convenient … to me at least – you don’t even need to go to the car to pay to park or extend your session.

          • I object to paying 20p extra when in fact I am saving wear and tear on the ticket machine and don’t create waste in the form of a ticket – I expect a discount!

  3. Then I don’t know what’s going on as I’ve just requested 7 minutes parking in East Street and the app wants to charge me 55p!!

    • 7 minutes pay by phone parking = 5p
      Base Fee = 20p
      Optional SMS reminders = 30p

      Total = 55p

      Opt not to receive SMS alerts and it’s 25p?


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