Costa leads Spain with new exact charging for on-street parking
Drivers’ frustration at putting money into parking meters for time they won’t use could soon be a thing of the past. Costa del Sol councils are leading the way in updating their smartphone apps to allow motorists to park at the officially-designated bays for the exact amount of time that they want.
Fuengirola is the first town in Andalucía, and only the second in Spain, after Guadalajara, to announce a new release of its Telpark software to allow exact charging. From now on, drivers can download the upgraded app free of charge from www.telpark.com or online app stores. They must then store their details, including car registration numbers and payment method, to use each time they park in the town’s ‘zona azul’ (the blue zone public parking bays in most Spanish towns and cities).
Announcing the new Telpark app, Fuengirola mayor, Ana Mula, said, “This innovation, although it looks simple, has a complicated technological process behind it and is aimed at improving service quality.”
Fuengirola has had a smartphone parking app since 2014, which allowed prepayment of set time periods. The main innovation is a new button, which motorists press on leaving their space to cut off the charging. Of course, drivers can still pay the traditional way at the machines without a phone if they wish.
Next week, Malaga city will also announce the updating of its own application with a new ‘Start and Stop’ function. This app will be available at online app stores or from www.smassa.eu. Other Costa town halls are likely to follow suit.
On-street parking is a big money earner for local councils; in 2015, Malaga took 1.8 million euros from its 2,984 ‘zona azul’ parking spaces.
The introduction of the new facility is in response to demands to do away with the existing fixed pricing bands, especially the requirement for drivers to pay for a minimum of 30 minutes, even if their stay is shorter.
Controlled ‘zonas azules’ spread to more inland towns
Alhaurín de la Torre has become the latest town away from the coast to introduce charges to park on some of its streets. Vélez, Ronda, Antequera, Coín and Alhaurín el Grande are among the other places in the interior of Malaga province that have started controlled ‘zonas azules’ (blue zones).
These new zones have had a mixed reception in Alhaurín de la Torre, where they have been in place for just over a month. Many drivers have started to look for alternative free parking in local supermarkets and residential streets, even though the new blue zone costs 30 cents for half an hour.
While it is the local councils that vote to introduce the new zones and decide the boundaries, some towns have a different way of managing them. In Vélez, Archidona and Antequera, local disabled charities are responsible for running the blue zones and collecting the money.source surinenglish