The city of Sunderland is like many others, struggling to attract and increase visitors to boost it’s local economy, which is why developing partnerships and stimulating creative initiatives is so important.
Whilst attracting more people is beneficial to the trade and local economy, business owners have highlighted the ongoing parking issues that play an influential part in those visitors spending time and money within it’s boundaries.
Having listened to the relevant feedback, partnerships have been forged with ProxiSmart which could potentially allow FREE parking into the city centre.
Working with Smart Beacons, ProxiSmart is an innovative business that has now developed a car parking application called ‘ParkingPerx‘ which allows those using it to accumulate credit via shopping in particular stores, subsequently that credit can be utilised to gain either discounted or even free parking.
Smart Beacons transmit a bluetooth signal that can be configured to range between around 50cm and 70m. This transmission is basically sending out the unique ID of the Beacon – no sensitive data is transmitted.
Smartphones can be programmed to listen out for these signals and react when a wireless handshake is made, a wireless handshake event basically identifies the Smartphone and its location in proximity to the identified Beacon.
Consumers would need to register their details, including their vehicle(s) in order to enjoy the benefits of FREE or discounted ParkingSmart. Beacons are deployed in and around car parks and parking spaces and make a wireless handshake with your Smartphone.
Via the Beacons, ParkingPerx knows when you have entered and exited a car park and proactively prompts you to confirm your parking event without the need for Location codes or other details, Its convenient quick, and very simple.
Sunderland Pilot Testing
Sunderland city centre has been chosen to roll out the new pilot testing of the ParkingPerx app, with in excess of 15 merchants agreeing to participate the beta stage.
The following car parks will be included in the pilot test scheme:
- The Bridges Rooftop
- Multi-storey car park
- Sunniside Multi-storey car park
The overall plan is to stimulate the evening local economy, increasing footfall and therefore boosting the business sector revenues.
Whilst the concept is innovative there are peripheral issues that surround the success of such schemes, one such stumbling block is how to deliver attractive shops to this potentially new visitor.
Competition will of course increase from Newcastle, Durham, the Metrocentre, retail parks and online retailers in the forthcoming years, which is why action is needed now to make sure Sunderland is not left behind.