Environment Transport & Sustainability Committee

Agenda Item 15


Subject:                    Phone Parking Contract Re-Tender


Date of meeting:    21st June 2022


Report of:                 Interim Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture


Contact Officer:      Name: Paul Nicholls

                                    Tel: 01273 293287

                                    Email: paul.nicholls@brighton-hove.gov.uk


Ward(s) affected:   All



For general release


1.            Purpose of the report and policy context


1.1         The phone parking contract with PaybyPhone is due to expire at the end of September 2022. The report seeks authorisation from the Environment Transport and Sustainability Committee to re-tender the parking by phone system.


2.            Recommendations


2.1         That Committee delegates authority to the Interim Executive Director for Economy Environment and Culture to take all steps necessary to procure and award a new phone parking contract for a term of two years


2.2         That Committee delegates authority to the Interim Executive Director for Economy Environment and Culture to approve an extension to the contract referred to in 2.1 above for a period of up to two years following the initial two-year term, subject to satisfactory performance by the Service Provider.


3.            Context and background information


3.1         The option of paying for on street parking and in Pay & Display car parks by phone or at PayPoint shops, was introduced in September 2013. Before that date all such parking was paid in cash at pay and display machines


3.2         Phone parking payments currently using the PaybyPhone app, telephone and PayPoint outlets now account for 78% of on street parking transactions.


3.3         For the last re-tender of the Contract in September 2018 the G-cloud framework was also used to procure phone parking services.


3.4         The value of the proposed Contract over a potential 4 years is estimated at £2.2m to the service provider.



4.            Analysis and consideration of alternative options


4.1         The option of not re-tendering the pay by phone service was considered but the service is now responsible for the vast majority of parking transactions with many customers using it as their preferred method of payment. The removal of the service would lead to additional demands on pay and display machines, and additional maintenance and cash collection costs for these machines.


4.2         The option of providing the service in house has been considered but discounted due to the highly technical nature of the system and because phone parking companies operate nationally and are therefore easy to understand for visitors to the city who are likely to already have these apps on their phones. The service also requires a 7 day a week call centre and IT support which can be more efficiently provided through a national phone parking service provider.


4.3         The option of adopting a multi-vendor procurement approach was explored. A small number of councils have taken this route by awarding the contract to up to the top three tenders evaluated. This approach requires significant changes to signage with all three phone parking service providers’ details advertised on street. Whilst this provides more customer choice it also means that additional contract management and reconciliation resources are needed on the part of the council, and it adds to the complexity of onboarding. We will continue to monitor the situation and review the market over the course of the new contract to consider the way forward long term.


5.            Community engagement and consultation


5.1         Feedback on the phone parking applications and service is used to inform service developments. Upgrades can be tested in specific geographical locations before being rolled out more widely. 


6.            Conclusion


6.1         The system of paying for parking by phone is now well-established in the city and responsible for most on street parking transactions. Not renewing this contract would mean that additional cash collection and maintenance costs as well as reducing the options available to residents and visitors to pay for their parking.


6.2         The Procurement Advisory Board met on 16th May to discuss this procurement and agreed with the recommendations of this report.


6.3         For these reasons and those outlined in the report it is recommended that Committee delegates authority as set out in paragraph 2 above.


7.            Financial implications


7.1         There are no direct financial implications arising from the recommendations of this report. The revenue budget has been set based on the current contract with PaybyPhone. Any significant variations to budget will be reported as part of the council’s monthly budget monitoring process.


7.2         The procurement of a contractor is subject to the council’s Contract Standing       Orders policy.


Name of finance officer consulted: John Lack    Date consulted 18/5/22


8.            Legal implications


8.1         In accordance with Part 4 of the council’s constitution, the Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee is the appropriate decision making body in respect of the recommendations set out in paragraph 2 above. In addition, in order to comply with the Contract Standing Order 3.1 authority to enter into contracts in excess of £500,000 must be obtained from the relevant Committee.


8.2         The procurement of the contract must comply with all relevant public procurement legislation as well as the council’s Contract Standing Orders


Name of lawyer consulted: Wendy McRae-Smith    Date consulted 19/05/22


9.            Equalities implications


9.1         The new Service Provider will have to comply with the international Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 AA accessibility standard. There will be a requirement for the app to be capable of being translated into foreign languages based on the phone’s settings. There is currently an option to pay by cash at one of the city’s hundreds of PayPoint outlets or by phone for members of the public without smart phones. Almost all of these are fully accessible to disabled drivers, whether or not they are blue badge holders.


9.2         Blue Badge holders park for free in Pay and Display and Shared Use bays when displaying their Badge. An Equalities Impact Assessment has been produced for this service and will be updated.


10.         Sustainability implications


10.1      The current contractor PayByPhone has been certified with ‘net carbon neutral plus’ status. This means as an organisation they offset more carbon than they produce. The increasing popularity of paying for parking by phone has meant that the council has significantly reduced cash collection costs from the remaining 150 Pay & Display machines in the city that accept cash as well as cards. The reduced frequency of cash collections has air quality and carbon reduction benefits for the city


11.         Other Implications


Social Value and procurement implications


11.1      The city is part of our current phone parking services provider’s ‘Meters for Trees’ project. As part of this initiative, they have donated 280 trees which have been planted at Stanmer Park. As part of PayByPhone’s ‘Green Christmas’ initiative based on the volume of transactions in the city they also donated 4,402 trees on behalf of the city to the Eden Reforestation Project to reforest mangrove areas in Madagascar.


11.2      Under the new tender we will be looking to include the facility to charge vehicles a variable amount for their parking based on the vehicles emissions when paying for parking by phone in some areas of the city with air quality problems should that be required in the future.


Crime & disorder implications:


11.3      Under the previous payments system of paying by cash at Pay and Display machines there were frequent attempts to break into the machines to steal their contents. As the popularity of paying by phone has increased the amount of cash held in machines has reduced significantly along with the risk of theft.


Supporting Documentation


1.            Appendices


Minutes of Procurement Advisory Board Meeting of 16th May