City car park app hit by bugs

Guildhall Walk car park in Portsmouth which now operates with the new Ring Go pay system.'Pictures: Ian Hargreaves  (123334-3)
Guildhall Walk car park in Portsmouth which now operates with the new Ring Go pay system.'Pictures: Ian Hargreaves (123334-3)
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A CITY smartphone app designed to help people pay for parking has been hit by bugs.

Portsmouth City Council has admitted its RingGo system, which allows people to pay to use car parks using a mobile phone app, is suffering from inaccuracies.

RingGo describes itself as the ‘UK’s leading phone parking solution’ that offers a ‘quick and easy, low cost way to offer credit or debit card parking’.

Users key in the designated car park location number in the app or use their phone’s location features to determine where the vehicle is parked.

But the authority says tariff boards in some of its city centre car parks were wrongly grouped together under one location number.

And that can mean people are being identified as being in the wrong area.

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One RingGo user who was hit by the error was University of Portsmouth student Lara Reardon, who was shocked to find a £50 penalty fixed to her car after parking in Guildhall Walk car park.

Her dad Alex Reardon said she bought parking for location 1301, after the RingGo app got her location wrong.

Later she discovered the correct location number for the car park was 1382.

Mr Reardon said: ‘The council is promoting it very actively around Portsmouth, but if they are going to make it available they have to put the diligence in so that the details are correct.

‘The council has a great facility here but they need to get it right.’

The city council apologised to Mr Reardon and said Lara’s penalty will be cancelled.

It says all locations offering the RingGo service will now be checked to ensure their boards are showing the correct zone numbers.

A spokesman said: ‘Zone 1301, which the system suggested Miss Reardon’s vehicle was parked in, is geographically just outside the car park and it is therefore possible that it could have picked this location up rather than the car park.

‘The tariff boards in Guildhall Walk car park will be changed as a priority to show the correct location number and we will ensure all locations which offer RingGo are checked to ensure the tariff boards are showing the correct zone numbers. 

‘We will also check all the location maps shown on the RingGo system and where there are inaccuracies these will be rectified with RingGo.

‘We would like to thank Mr Reardon and his daughter for bringing these issues to our attention.’