2020 – The year of the staycation

Shaun Price, Account Manager at RingGo. 

What an incredible first three months working at RingGo. From day one, the support has been fantastic, and the company has delivered on each promise made throughout my interview process, believe me, this was a tall order. Given the current circumstances, this is even more impressive, and they achieved it so seamlessly.

On allocation of my portfolio, I was delighted to see I would be responsible for the South West Coast. This is an area of the country, that like so many, I love. I made no secret that my client meetings (once permitted) would be carried out on Thursdays, Fridays and Mondays. To my surprise, this was actively encouraged…..result!

To prolong the privilege of looking after the South West Coast, I know that building my own partnerships quickly is essential. As my first month came to an end, our team celebrated the award of the Devon County Framework for Cashless Parking. This framework award allows us to retain our eight current partners whilst also taking over the pay by phone service across Devon County and Exeter.

With reduced ability to travel abroad this summer, many families have been reviving traditions created by generations before. Some have returned to the same place they go every year. Some adults have also returned to spots where they played as children. There have also been some families discovering our beautiful coastline for the first time, and it really is a sight to behold.

The widely reported staycation has had a hugely positive effect on reviving coastal communities. We’ve seen parking sessions dramatically increase across the South West Coast and there are two very clear factors driving this. Firstly, the increased demand on the existing parking spaces. We know that many of the car parks are near capacity; therefore, sessions would naturally increase. Secondly, the significant effect of Covid-19. Paying for parking via the RingGo app removes the need to use a Pay & Display machine, therefore reducing the need of encountering touchpoints.

The results across the South West Coast are remarkable, but below are some key highlights:

  • South Hams – we’ve seen an increase of 110% sessions in July 2019 vs July 2020 and by 132% in August 2020 vs August 2019.

  • West Devon – Sessions increased by 62% based on July 2019 vs July 2020 and by 108% in August 2020 vs August 2019.

  • North Devon – We’ve seen an increase of 84% of sessions in July 2019 vs July 2020 and 117% in August 2020 vs August 2019 – We had more parking sessions in July and August 2020 vs revenues collected in both July and August 2017 and 2018.

Amazingly these 4 Local authorities have had more sessions with RingGo between January and August 2020 than January to August 2019. To think this is achievable in the year we’ve had is extraordinary, and demonstrates the trust in RingGo from both the Local Authority and the end-user.

These figures show a colossal shift in behaviours following the lockdown and demonstrates a trend that will continue as people make a long-term switch to digital payment methods.

The questions that remain;

How long will the 2020 staycation last – Reports in several news outlets say bookings are well into October….

How will 2021 staycations fare……Will you pick a trip to sunny Europe over our beautiful coastal views? Does anything beat fish & chips or Ice Cream overlooking a UK beach?

These are incredibly exciting times for cashless parking along the South West Coast. As we continue to roll out the new contracts through the Devon Framework, parking with RingGo will become more visible, easier and better value for the motorist.

A significant requirement for the Devon Framework was brand consistency across the whole of Devon. RingGo and I look forward to delivering this for all our partners throughout Devon and the South West Coast.