Northern Ireland

JustPark: Department for Infrastructure apologises over parking app

Driver uses parking app Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The JustPark app replaced ParkMobile in January

The Department for Infrastructure has apologised after people were issued parking tickets in error after problems with its new mobile parking app.

JustPark, which replaced ParkMobile in January, said it had experienced "teething problems".

Several users told BBC News NI they received error messages, incorrect bills and penalty charge notices (PCN).

Individuals who incorrectly received a parking ticket will be refunded, the department said.

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon told the Good Morning Ulster radio show that 20 people were incorrectly issued parking tickets on Friday.

"There was an issue with the app on Friday and the problem was caused by poor mobile signal", she said.

However, issues were raised with BBC News NI before Friday.

"We began the cancellation of the penalty notices on Friday and all will be completed by today (Monday), but absolutely this is another inconvenience for members of the public," she said.

"We need to make sure things like this don't happen again.

"If we are encouraging people to go on to apps and online then we need to make sure we have the infrastructure there so those errors don't occur."

Image copyright JustPark
Image caption Error messages claimed drivers already had a booking preventing them from starting new parking sessions

The Department for Infrastructure announced the change in provider at the beginning of January.

JustPark charges a transaction fee of eight pence per session, which is cheaper than the previous provider.

Some motorists have claimed they were unable to cancel bookings or received error messages, saying they already had a booking - preventing them from starting a new parking session.

Those who were unable to cancel their sessions said they were billed by JustPark for more than they should have been and the company refunded the money when contacted.

A Just Park spokesperson said thousands of people have been using the app and acknowledged it had experienced "teething problems".

In a statement, a Department for Infrastructure spokesperson said they were "made aware of an issue" and "acted swiftly" to establish the detail.

"Immediate action has been taken to investigate and the department has been assured by the company chief executive that the problem has been identified and rectified," they said.

"As a result a small number of people did receive a PCN in error and they will be refunded.

"The department apologises for any inconvenience caused."

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