MOVES by Chichester District Council to make parking more user-friendly has won its car parks team a national award.

Council representatives went to the Houses of Parliament to receive the Parking and Traffic Regulations Outside London award for innovation and new services.

Paying by phone, contactless and card payments, website improvements and the re-marking of bays have all been introduced to respond to customer feedback.

CDC leader councillor Tony Dignum said: “One of the most popular services that we have introduced has been ‘Mi Permit’, which enables you to pay for parking from your mobile phone or app.

“Since its introduction it has been used over 18,500 times across the district. It also provides customers with a reminder by text when parking time is about to run out, with the option to extend time if customers wish to do so.

“We’ve also received positive feedback from businesses because people are less inclined to have to run back to their car when their time is up, and so it’s great for the local economy.We were also one of the first councils in the country to introduce a large number of machines offering contactless payment.

“All city car parks machines, with the exception of Westgate and Avenue de Chartres where other arrangements are in place, accept both contactless and card payments, in addition to coins, and we hope to eventually extend this across the whole of the district. All city centre car park machines are solar powered and therefore also saving energy.

“Over the past few years we have worked incredibly hard to improve our services for our customers and to modernise our facilities. Key to this has been listening to our customers and responding to their suggestions on how we can make our services easier to use. We’ve made significant changes within a short period of time and so it is great this work has been recognised through this award.”