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Gloucestershire Business News

Technology introduced to stop people from abusing free park and ride spaces

New technology is being introduced to ensure that owners of cars being parked at the Arle Court Park and Ride in Cheltenham - do just that.

The Park and Ride service is used by countless commuters every day, who leave their vehicles at Arle Court by the A40 Golden Valley Bypass, and then travel in to Cheltenham.

The site has parking for 576 cars, but it has become increasingly difficult to find a space due to the number of people parking for free at the site and walking to nearby places of work.

However, from Monday, May 3 bus users will be asked to register their vehicle's registration number at one of two touchscreen machines on site.

The machines will then issue a reusable ticket with a printed QR code to be scanned on the bus.

Once a bus ticket has been paid for, the user will then scan the QR code in order to qualify for free parking.

If the ticket issued when parking is not scanned on either one of the 93 or 99 bus services that use the site, a fine will be issued.

Councillor Nigel Moor, Gloucestershire County Council cabinet member for environment and planning, said: "Using Arle Court Park and Ride is an easy way to visit Cheltenham town centre and help reduce traffic congestion.

"These improvements will help to address concerns about parking by people working nearby as well as freeing up much needed spaces for park & ride bus users.

"Our recent bid to central government for funding to upgrade junction 10 on the M5 includes extra spaces at Arle Court to support our vision to help people travel around Cheltenham."

"Rupert Cox, managing director for Stagecoach West, said: "This change will mean more and more people will be able to use Arle Court Park and Ride as a convenient and cost effective way of getting into central Cheltenham.

The Park and Ride bus service features high specification Gold buses with leather seats, free wifi and great value fares."

Kathryn Pulham, finance director for Pulham & Sons (Coaches) Ltd, said: "We are pleased to be working with Gloucestershire County Council to implement the new systems at Arle Court Park and Ride which is used by NHS staff and members of the public on the 99 service.

"We hope the new arrangements will free up the required spaces to encourage more people to use the 99 to Cheltenham and Gloucester hospitals."

For people who want to use the site but not use the bus service, a maximum of 150 spaces will be available at a cost of £6 per day, or £3 after 1pm.

Users will be able to book a parking space up to one week in advance, but once the 150 space capacity is reached, no further spaces will be available to book.

To book one of the spaces, users will need to use the MiPermit cashless payment system either online at www.mipermit.com or via the mipermit app.

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