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People parking in Bromsgrove will have an all-digital car park from next week, as the last round of upgrades to parking systems in the town begin.

Ageing ‘pay on foot’ barriers and pay machines will be removed from service at the Churchfields and Recreation Road car parks on Thursday (May 19), and while they will be replaced by new ‘pay and stay’ machines in Recreation Road, Churchfields will go online-only.

It will mean that drivers using the four-floor, 300-space multi-storey behind Asda will use the online MiPermit parking service exclusively, in a digital approach there that will be a first for councils in Worcestershire.

It will also mean that for the first time, drivers will be able to go online and skip using pay machines or displaying tickets at any council car park in Bromsgrove - or use upgraded machines that take card and contactless payments as well as cash, except at the digital-only Churchfields.

About one in four car park users in Bromsgrove already manage their parking, including for cheaper quarterly and annual permits, online using MiPermit since it was first introduced in selected car parks in 2020.

Leader of Bromsgrove District Council Cllr Karen May said: “Ensuring people have access to good, safe parking is part of the lifeblood of any town. In Bromsgrove parking is now top quality after a lot of work to update it. Improvements across the board have removed the need to always have to juggle coins and notes, remember tickets, deal with window stickers, and so on. It all helps to make life easier and cut waste.”

The changes follow a 2020 consultation by the council that revealed over 60% of respondents wanted card payments, an outcome that required old pay on foot systems to be replaced. Responses against the idea of eliminating cash payments also prompted the council to retain some cash options.

Uniquely, the Churchfields multi storey as an online-only car park will need no physical infrastructure like barriers or pay machines – cutting plastic and paper use from tickets and permits there to zero, as well as reducing energy usage.

People with legacy paper permits for Churchfields are being advised that they must continue to display any existing permits until those permits expire.

It’s all part of a programme of upgrades to the town’s parking service that includes LED lighting and other improvements in efficiency, environmental impact, and quality. Resurfacing works are coming soon.

For parking customer service queries please contact bdcparking@bromsgrove.gov.uk.