This morning as I parked at my local beach, I went to put coins into the parking meter and noticed the payment system has changed. Now when you insert your credit card to pay, you’re required to enter your car’s registration number, which it then prints on the receipt slip you place in your car window.ParkingMeter

It prompted me to contemplate why this additional requirement to enter your car’s number plate. Could it be a way of generating additional income? Having to nominate your car’s licence plate number on the parking slip means that no one can pass on their parking slip to anyone else to benefit from, should they decide to leave their parking space earlier than their paid for amount of time. To me this felt like an extreme lack of generosity of spirit on the part of the local Council that collects the parking revenue.

Not that long ago there were no parking limits to public parking on the streets. Anyone could park pretty much anywhere they wanted, provided it was safe. Then time limits were introduced, and then came the introduction of parking meters, whereby you put coins in the meter for the parking spot you were parked in, and if you left the spot before the meter ‘ran out’, then the next person who parked there would benefit from any time credit still left on the meter. Which was only fair given that the parking space had already been paid for for that allocated time. And then came the ticket dispensing machines where you paid for a period of time and then placed the dispensed ticket on the dash of the car for the parking inspector to check. And where there was still time paid for on your ticket, if you were feeling generous you would gift your ticket to another person to use, as you were leaving your parking spot.

But not any more. Now your ticket has to stay with your car and you cant pass it on to anyone else. Which means the local Councils get to double and triple dip when it comes to revenue raising as parking spaces get paid for over and over again for more time than is actually used. Read More…