UK Drivers Avoid Pay-By-Phone Meters


UK Drivers Avoid Pay-By-Phone Meters

In the UK, leaders at the Automobile Association say drivers are determinedly avoiding pay-by-phone stations. A survey of 16,000 of its members revealed 7 out of 10 would rather look for another place to park than pay by phone. According to, members of local governments say pay-by-phone is easy to use and popular with drivers, but the AA disagrees.

Drivers dislike several aspects of pay-by-phone including the actual payment by phone, according to the report, as well as fees involved in the transaction and having to interact with automated service representatives.

Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA, said: “Not only can it be a struggle to find a space but now, when you do find one, you may be required to talk to an automated system to pay the charge – not ideal if you have an appointment or just want to get in and get out quickly.

The AA suggests that pay-by-phone discriminates against older drivers and drivers with lower incomes – those who do not have cell phones or do not feel comfortable using them to pay for parking, or who cannot afford additional parking fees.

While the AA criticizes the widespread installation of pay-by-phone meters and kiosks, others have called into question the timing of the group’s study, which was made public on the same day the organization introduced a card payment system for small businesses.

Maybe more of the AA’s members are from a generation that is slow to adopt cell phone payment options and the group has an obligation to represent their interests, but those numbers are staggering. If I were building pay-by-phone meters, I’d look into that data even if it is somewhat skewed.

Read the article here.

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John Van Horn

One Response

  1. Something is amiss. If you’re paying by phone, you bypass the meter. It’s an either/or – unless they’re removing meters, and requiring motorists to use their phones.

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