Tipperary motorists will be able to pay for their car parking by phone in the near future as Tipperary County Council rolls out is eparking initiative.
The scheme, which will cost €25,000 to set up, was revealed by director of transport Marcus O'Connor to councillors at their January meeting in Nenagh.
No printed ticket will be issued when motorists pay for their parking using the new system but the council is updating the hand held devices currently used by traffic wardens to issue parking fines so that they can read whether or not people have paid for their parking.
The current system will continue to remain in place with ticket machines accepting coins.
Mr O'Connor said the council will launch a campaign at the end of January or in early February to herald the new system and they will be encouraging people to download a new app on to their smartphones.
The app can be downloaded from www.tipperaryeparking.ie or www.tipperaryparking.ie
Motorists can also make their payments through using a 1890 phone number that will be displayed in car parks. However, if you use the phone number there will be an extra charge as 1890 numbers are premium lines.
“If you download the app you can then pay for parking anywhere in Tipperary,” said Mr O'Connor. “You can extend it without having to return to your car.”
He also told the council that it will be posible to load credit into your account and then top it up when required.
“The benefits of this system to the council is that the funds will go directly to the council and we don't have to empty cash machines,” he said.
It will also reduce the hours the wardens currently spend emptying the cash machines and reduce banking charges.
For motorists, it will allow them to pay by credit card, they won't have to return to their cars to top up payments and it is quick and easy to register online, he said.
The initiative was given a general welcome bycouncillors, but Cllr Seamus Hanafin was told that it would not be possible to park your car in one street and then move to another zone without making another payment.
“It's going to be a major marketing tool for towns,” said Cllr Joe Hannigan.
Cllr Jim Ryan asked that the1890 number be replaced with a Freephone number to save costs. However, the director of transport said that they would be urging people to download the app and not use the phone number.
Mr O'Connor told Cllr John Hogan that motorists will be able to have a reminder sent to them that there parking time is running out, but there would be a charge for the service.
Cllr Martin Browne was told that the current minimum charges would remain.