NSL launches UK’s first major parking technology trial in Manchester

NSL, in partnership with Manchester City Council, is all set to launch the UK’s first major trial of fully integrated parking technology, which will allow motorists to find a parking space using their mobile phone.

Already used in major US cities, the award-winning technology comprises electronic sensors, which are being placed in over 230 parking bays in Manchester’s vibrant Northern Quarter and Chinatown areas.

The simplicity of finding available spaces using the technology has been welcomed by US small business groups keen to attract visitors to particular shopping areas without them undergoing the frustration of driving around in search of a space.

By downloading the free ‘Parker’ app onto their iPhones and Android devices, motorists will be able to see in real time which parking bays are available. Also acting as a sat-nav, it can direct motorists to the nearest available bay using driver-safe voice-commands.

With an estimated 30% of motorists driving around in search of a parking space at any one time, the new technology will not only reduce time and stress, but the associated carbon emissions.

During the trial an element will be introduced whereby businesses will be able to link in with the system. This means that customers visiting businesses websites can see which bays are available, whilst giving parking bosses detailed information about what bays are being used when, and for how long.

Funded entirely by NSL, the Manchester trial will run for six months. The Parker app was recently named 2013 Best Mobile Innovation for ‘Smart Cities’, at the 2013 Global Mobile Awards, which were announced this month at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

NSL’s Local Government Director, Nigel Coltman, said: “We looked around for some time for a smart, innovative and integrated solution that would work for motorists, parking bosses and the environment. With increasing vehicle ownership and congestion we have chosen the most intelligent and integrated option the market can offer. It provides local authorities with a much more efficient way of utilising their parking bays, whilst also delivering valuable analytics. We were aided in our search by our consultancy arm, the traffic and urban design specialists, Project Centre. This is the exciting next step, and we will be encouraging our other clients to share our ideas, and see the technology in action for themselves.”

NSL is the most experienced parking services provider in the UK, working in partnership with sixty local authorities. Once the trial has been evaluated, NSL could roll-out the technology throughout the country, ensuring that motorists need only use one application to check spaces throughout the country.


For further information, please contact Luke Allen, Director of Communications, 07468 701361, or Luke.Allen@nsl.co.uk


Notes to Editors:

NSL is a leading UK company specialising in the delivery and management of frontline services in complex public sector and regulated environments. Our core services include business process management; enforcement; passenger and social transport; street management and technical design services. We currently have over 70 contracts with local, regional and central government, as well as with the airport and the private sector, and have delivered contracts for high-profile government agencies, such as The Royal Parks, DVLA, Transport for London and Transport Northern Ireland.