Here's why the first of 4,000 black bobbles will start appearing on Portsmouth streets this week

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The first parking sensors that will let motorists know where there are vacant pay-and-display spaces in Portsmouth will be installed this week.

The sensors are part of a new parking system which uses an app to show empty spaces. 

Parking sensors that will be installed in Portsmouth in the coming weeks 'Picture: Portsmouth City Council

Parking sensors that will be installed in Portsmouth in the coming weeks 'Picture: Portsmouth City Council

The council has teamed up with technology firm, AppyParking, to install around 4,000 new smart parking sensors in on-street pay and display spaces across the city. Over the next few weeks, a rolling programme of parking suspensions will be put in place as the circular black sensors are installed at regular intervals in the pay and display parking spaces.

The smart sensors, being installed by Riggott & Co, are the first step in creating a system that will allow people to use the AppyParking App to see availability of on-street pay and display parking space near their destination. 

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They will be able to drive straight to areas with vacant space and then pay for parking sessions with a single click. People will only pay for the time they are parked within the bay and the sensor will recognise when they leave and stop charging from that point.

Councillor Lynne Stagg, the cabinet member for traffic and transportation, said: 'I am pleased to see the installation of AppyParking sensors. This new system will help reduce air pollution by stopping vehicles being driven around in a search for on–street pay and display parking spaces. This will also help reduce congestion, particularly at busy times. I look forward to launching the new smart technology this year that will help everyone in their search for on-street pay and display parking spaces.'

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The new smart parking system is due to launch once all the sensors and other equipment are installed and the app has been tested. The sensors, all the equipment and its maintenance are part of a two-year trial funded by AppyParking and Visa.

People wishing to pay with coins at pay and display parking machines or use RingGo parking app, will still be able to do so and the enforcement of parking across the city will continue to be carried out by officers in the traditional way with visits to the area. Blue badge and permit holders will be unaffected by the new system.

The council will use an analytics dashboard to learn where and when the demand for parking is in the city.