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Bath and North East Somerset Council has worked with the parking firm for more than 40 years

In an effort to improve air quality, boost pedestrian safety and meet the needs of the six million visitors into historic Bath each year, Bath and North East Somerset Council has partnered with intelligent parking company Metric Group on a bespoke emissions-based charging solution.

The industry-leading initiative is one of several measures planned by the council to improve air quality and reduce carbon. Passionate about introducing a system that visitors and more vulnerable road users would find easy to use and that could accurately draw the latest vehicle-emissions data from the DVLA, the council’s parking team tasked Metric Group with developing backend software to meet its exacting requirements.

Over an intensive six-month period, Metric Group’s technical team created bespoke software to generate car parking tariffs simply by entering a car registration number, based on length of stay and a vehicle’s emissions according to DVLA excise duty bands. Eighteen of Metric’s Sprite machines, which take both cash and cashless payments, are now in operation across eight carparks.

Joe McManus, sales and marketing director at Metric Group, has worked with the council for a number of years. He explains: “The roll-out of emissions-based parking tariffs in Bath has been a real labour of love for us – it has really put our technical capabilities to the test and we’re extremely proud that our parking terminals are now in use across the city.

“Our brief from the council was to build a system that was intuitive and easy-to-use – something that visitors of all nationalities, ages and abilities will find simple to operate and that accepts both cash and contactless payments.

“The council is a long-standing partner of ours because we act as an extension of their parking team and they view our terminals ‘as the best on the market’.”

Metric’s Sprite terminals calculate car parking tariffs automatically using live DVLA records and present the visitor with a total cost for the duration of their stay, without needing to know emissions or engine size. 

Andrew Dunn, the council’s Parking Manager, says: “We needed reliable and user-friendly parking machines that fit with the historic aesthetic of Bath – a double UNESCO World Heritage site – in a solution that not only helps to discourage more polluting vehicles from the city, but that visitors can use hassle-free.

“Ensuring all visitors into the city have a good parking experience is really important to us. We recognise that emissions-based tariffs have the potential to be incredibly confusing, because there are so many variables to consider, especially if you’re asking people specific details about engine size and how polluting their vehicle is. 

“Having worked with the Metric Group for so many years, we knew the team would work tirelessly to deliver a system that streamlined all of this – a simple interface that presents a price for parking and can be paid for easily, whilst ensuring that all our customers’ parking stays are promptly visible on CEO (civil enforcement officer) handhelds for more efficient compliance checks.”

With a partnership going back decades, Metric Group installed a parking terminal for Bath and North East Somerset 43 years ago and have since become a strategic support on parking related matters.

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