Just Park

We used to dream of living in a cardboard box

My Dad was one of those cartoon Northerners who begrudge spending a single penny if they can avoid it. As I get older I seem to be turning into him.

Take parking.

Parking your car these days is absurdly expensive and even more annoying. For starters, if you pay by cash most machines don’t give change. Don’t give change? It’s 2019 people!

And, for some reason, the car parking paypoints in Worcester and Malvern all seem to think that the majority of the coins I own are fake.

Plus, you have to guess how long you need to park. After a recent meeting in Worcester ran over time I returned to the car park 2 minutes late, to find a ticket stuck to my car windscreen informing me I now owed the council £40.

Obviously, I was in the wrong. I accept that. Bad Tim. But a £20 per minute fine? That’s not a model I’m interested in doing business with.

There are, of course, plenty of car parking apps. On a recent trip to Bournemouth I used https://paybyphone.co.uk/ to book and pay for spaces by card. It didn’t save me any money, but worked great. It’s lovely not having to worry about being two minutes late.

However, returning to my home town of Malvern I discovered that the nearest parking space available on the PayByPhone platform appears to be 25 miles away in Cheltenham. Apparently, Malvern uses a completely different system.

Registering for the Malvern platform is easy. Except, it charges you 20p a time to use it, and doesn’t let you park for as long as if you use coins.

Earth calling Malvern Hills District Council. The internet is supposed to cost less, not more!

That’s why I use a website and app called www.justpark.com

You type in when and where you want to go, and the site flags up available spaces in that time period. The interesting thing is that these spaces are mostly private drives. And the prices are much, much lower than commercial car parks.

For instance, I’m visiting Bath for 10 hours this Saturday and used justpark to prebook a driveway for £6.80 – compared to £15 at the local council car park for the same period. You pay by card and can ask to extend your stay with a tap of your phone.

No wonder justpark claims it is now helping over 3.5 million drivers park in over 45,000 locations around the UK.

Pros

  • Save up to 50% on parking

Cons

  • It feels weird parking on a stranger’s driveway and walking away
  • I’m not helping the environment!

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