Liam Scanlan’s Smart Ideas competition app a potential parking gamechanger in Newcastle

Liam Scanlan’s Smart Ideas competition app a potential parking gamechanger in Newcastle

Traffic jam: Liam Scanlan believes parking hassles keep people out of the city. Picture: Penelope Green

STUDENT and retailentrepreneur Liam Scanlanhasan idea he thinks has the potential to alleviate Newcastle’s ongoing city parking woes.

The 20-year-old Maitland residenthas entered the Smart Ideas competition, a part of the Hunter Innovation Festival, with a user-pays app concept he believes couldopen up more parking spaces in the inner-city.

“When people park, they log into theapp, plug in their basic details – license plate number, and a payment measure likePayPal or credit card -and then save their user profile,” he says. “Once parked, you ‘start meter’, and go about your daily business then when you get back to your car you ‘end meter’ and only pay for the exact amount of time you were absent from your vehicle.”

Mr Scanlan said the current parking metres force drivers to pay in advance and guess how long they might be at lunch or shopping or in a meeting. He saidparking inspectors would not have to look for paper tickets on windshields but simply scan the licence plate number to see if the parking space was being paid for, and issue fines as required.

The app could have additional features, including location services that allow drivers to see whether they are in a metre area, what the prices are and where free parking is.

​Parking in the city is set to be an issue for Mr Scanlan, a trainee accountant and creative specialist at Bottrell Business Consultants andfounder of Eat Your Water clothing. He is studying a double degree in business, innovation and entrepreneurshipand must soon relocate from the University of Newcastle’s Callaghan campus to the NeWSpace city campus. “There are about four car spaces at NeW Space and everyone at Callaghan is complaining about how they are going to find a park.”

The Smart Ideas competition calls for entries with a produce, service of concept to benefit the Hunter.

Email entries [email protected]苏州夜网.auwith Smart Ideas Competition in the subject line. Written entries must be 500 words or less and can bedelivered to TheHerald at 28 Honeysuckle Drive.Entries close5pm on May 5.