Blue badge discount sign up now live

Holders of a blue badge can now sign up for an online account to get three hours of free parking in the city council’s new off-street ANPR car parks.

The first off-street car parks covered by the discount scheme are St Radigund’s and Miller’s Field in Canterbury, both of which are moving from pay-and-display to ANPR during this week (w/c 21 January).

To get the three hours of free parking, blue badge holders will need to sign up for a council account. They must also upload a picture of their blue badge.

The process in the car parks has been made as simple as possible. When entering, the cameras will log the car registration and, if the account has been created, the system recognises it is a blue badge holder. On leaving at the end of their stay, the motorist drives straight to the barrier.

The machine at the barrier will ask the motorist if they are using their blue badge. If they are, the three hour discount will be applied. Any additional payment required for time over three hours will then automatically be taken through their account, or can be paid for at the barrier by contactless, chip and pin, Google Pay or Apple Pay.

If they are not using the badge, no discount is applied and full payment proceeds as normal using the options above.

This is the most straightforward option and is the one the council recommends blue badge holders use.

Alternatively, before leaving at the end of their stay, the motorist can go to the pay machine in the car park, enter their number plate and follow the on-screen instructions. This is the method for those who want to pay by cash.

The account allows two vehicles to be added and these can be changed at any time, which means someone with multiple carers can easily choose which vehicles are linked to the account.

Chairman of the council’s Regeneration and Property Committee, Cllr Ben Fitter-Harding, said: “We promised from day one of the ANPR trial that we would put in place a system to enable the blue badge discount to continue and that’s exactly what we’re doing here.

“The new ANPR system uses the very latest technology, which we have used to implement a fair and straightforward system for making three hours free parking available to blue badge holders. It works regardless of whether you are the primary user of the blue badge or a carer, and is set up in just a few steps in the online account.”

Once St Radigund’s and Miller’s Field car parks have gone live, attention will move to Whitstable, where Middle Wall will be upgraded from the trial ANPR system to the new one, and Gorrell Tank will get the new system.

Then it’s on to Herne Bay, where William Street will be upgraded and Neptune will get the new system.

Finally, it will be back to Canterbury, where Pound Lane and Castle Street multi-storey will be upgraded and Longport, Castle Row, Watling Street, Queningate and the new Station Road West multi-storey (once constructed) will get the new system.

In addition, the council is now planning to add the ANPR system to the Whitefriars multi-storey car park in due course.

The three park and ride sites went live on ANPR late last year and so far around 3,500 new parking accounts have been created. The new off-street ANPR car parks will be added to the system as they go live.

The blue badge discount does not operate at park and ride.

Published: 17 January 2019

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