MOTORISTS in Bexleyheath who do not want to pay for parking by phone have been given an innovative new option.
Developer BemroseBooth Mobile has teamed up with Bexley Council to develop the facility for people to go into businesses to pay for parking.
A trial is up-and-running at The Bank restaurant in Broadway, Bexleyheath.
Motorists can pop in with their vehicle details and staff at the restaurant do the rest.
A 10 minute grace period allows people to pay for parking before becoming liable for a ticket.
BemroseBooth spokesman Robert Adamson said: "The app has been a long time coming to the parking industry.
"We wanted to take our time and really get it right so the system would run smoothly and effectively."
Businesses in Broadway complained to News Shopper in March that phone parking schemes and charging all day Sunday were a "joke" and cost businesses 40 per cent of their trade.
Owner of The Bank, Scott Collins, 28, was asked by the council to take part in the trial.
He was initially sceptical, telling News Shopper: "I don’t think it is going to work. It is an extra five minutes of me working for the council."
Mr Collins agreed to take part because "no-one else was going to do it" and said the new system has had a "slow" first two weeks because people did not know it existed, but hopes for improvement when signs go up this week.
He said: "Hopefully it will work out for us. If it works here then in three months all the other places will have the same thing.
"We have just got to try it. The damage has already been done, we have just got to try to sort it."
A Bexley Council spokesman said: "We are currently trialling this innovative solution with one local business, which has worked with us to develop a new payment option.
"Once we have completed the trial we will be able to roll it out to any business who wishes to become involved, but the purpose of the trial is to make sure it works properly first."