The METRIC brand has been synonymous with parking since 1992, but our company heritage and links to the ticketing industry dates back over 130 years to 1879 and the Bell Punch Company.
130 years in ticketing
The Bell Punch Company, incorporated in July 1878, are renowned for being the first manufacturer to develop a ticket issuing machine that allowed for overlapping fare stages – known as the Ultimate.
The company became market leaders in the design, manufacture and service of bus, tram and train fare collection systems, supplying London Transport bus and underground departments as well as British Rail.
In 1924, Bell Punch began expanding the business by researching and developing ticket issuing machines for various sectors from cinema box offices to racecourse betting. In the 1930s, the company also began supplying London taxi cabs with the Bell Punch taxi-meter.
Bell Punch acquired the rights to a small adding machine developed by Petters Ltd. This became known as the Plus, and later development introduced a full keyboard calculating machine, known as the Sumlock. Both were mechanical calculators.
Although the prototype was developed in 1958, it wasn’t until 1961 when the Anita Mark VII and ANITA Mark VIII were launched simultaneously and became the world’s first all electronic calculators.
The acronym ‘ANITA’ was officially stood for A New Inspiration To Accounting, however it is also suggested that it was named after the designer’s wife.
Parking and Almex
In the 1970s, the Bell Bunch Company was renamed to Control Systems Limited and had the first electronic coin operated machine for both transport and car parking control, the Autoslot.
In the mid 1980’s the group was sold to a Swedish company, Almex Limited of the Incentive Group. The Autoslot grew in popularity, dominating the UK market with 80% market share.
Following a management buyout, the company was rebranded to METRIC brand in 1992. The company was bought by Hoeft & Wessel in 1999, this group also owned the brands Almex and Skeye. In 2015, Hoeft & Wessel rebranded the group under the name METRIC forming three core divisions – METRIC Parking Systems, METRIC Public Transport and METRIC Retail & Logistics. In October 2016, METRIC Group Ltd was acquired by Tri Star Group.
METRIC is at the forefront of design and innovation. METRIC were the first to develop Wave & Pay credit card system into a parking machine to allow for contactless payments in 2007. METRIC were the first to connect pay and display parking machines via 4G mesh radio.
An award winning company
In 2015, METRIC was presented with the Parking Technology Award at the British Parking Awards for the VivoPark system, a barrier-free ANPR system that manages free parking in retail.