Commuters parking at Eastbourne and Polegate railway stations will soon save time through the convenience of automatic number plate recognition (ANPR).
The new system, to be installed by the end of September, means that motorists no longer need to walk back to their car to display a ticket and can even catch a train and pay later, online.
In a separate programme, clamping is to be trialled at several stations, to target persistent offenders who refuse to pay their fees and fines.
GTR’s business development manager Karl McCormack said, “The new number plate system will save our passengers valuable time, especially in larger car parks, with no need to walk back and forth to display a permit. All they need to do is enter their registration number at the payment point and walk straight on to catch their train.
“Those with season tickets are automatically registered on the system, so they can just drive in, park and go; those without can pay at the machine with cash or card, by phone, on line, or on the move using our parking contractor’s app.
“Payment can be made at any time up to midnight on the day, although we encourage prompt payment so people don’t forget.
“This is all part of the modernisation of our network and services to make travelling easier for our passengers.”
The system, which also eradicates the problem of printed tickets fading in sunlight, has been used in Brighton for several years.
Staff will continue to patrol the car parks to provide security, cleaning and maintenance, and will still issue penalty notices if customers park incorrectly in restricted areas such as disabled drivers’ bays.
Clamping will also be introduced, to target motorists who ‘frequently evade payment’, from late August.
Some individual drivers have collected four or more unpaid penalty notices each – and a very few have more than 20 outstanding.
They have continually ignored the resulting notices, and declined to use the formal appeals processes.
A GTR spokesman said, “As a last resort, GTR has asked Indigo, who operate the parking facilities on behalf of GTR, to engage a clamping company who will immobilise persistent offenders’ vehicles at selected stations.”