Brighton and Hove City Council is known as a leader in environmental policies as well as a popular tourist destination, yet the high visitor numbers that flock to the city can create a challenge to keep traffic moving and at the same time, minimise emissions. The council’s parking strategy is key to reducing congestion, maintaining free flow of traffic and supporting the green agenda. The city has a complex range of parking zones and types of enforcement which creates a high volume of work for the parking team.
Brighton’s parking enforcement system had been in place for nearly 20 years, so in 2022, the council’s parking team decided to procure a more modern solution. After a competitive tender exercise, the council chose Taranto as their new provider. Using Taranto Parking Enforcement Solution, Brighton and Hove now has a cloud-based hosted system that enables them to integrate with other solutions and update the system as new enhancements are introduced. Taranto has a clear roadmap of future enhancements to keep the system up to date with the latest technology. Brighton and Hove city council is already reaping the benefits from this strategy.
As Stephen Simpson, PCN Appeals Manager, explains one of the reasons why Brighton selected Taranto: “The Taranto system is much more in line with legal processes, so from an audit perspective, it’s easier to achieve better compliance. Taranto keeps us on track and everything is very manageable on the legal side of things.”
Automation of large amounts of back-office administration was a key focus. Brighton also wanted a solution that would help with tracing for debt enforcement, to work with agencies earlier in the enforcement process so that PCNs can be dealt with and ultimately paid faster.
The solution went live in January 2023 and within just six months, the council started to see significant improvements. “Even in the short time that we’ve had the Taranto system, we’ve completely eliminated some of our manual processes, so we’ve already seen the benefits,” commented PCN Team Manager Hannah Boakye.
In order to focus on the move to the Taranto system, Brighton set up a dedicated team to manage the transition. This team, consisting of supervisors and officers, worked closely with Taranto’s project team with regular meetings, both virtual and on-site. The Brighton team works on a hybrid model, with some members, particularly those focusing on casework such as appeals and challenges, based from home.
The Brighton team has seen better efficiency introduced using the Taranto system, with fewer opportunities for human error due to the automation of manual processes. The quality of work has noticeably improved, according to Stephen Simpson. Cases are less likely to be cancelled as mistakes have been minimised. There have been other improvements as well. According to Sue Mallinson, PCN Team Senior Supervisor: “I really enjoy using the Taranto system – it’s such an improvement on the previous system. It’s easier to use and encourages staff to deal with PCN challenges in a more thoughtful way and makes our working day a lot more efficient.”
Efficiency is also improved through Taranto’s self-service portal which encourages the public to pay fines online without having to interact with the parking department. “The self-service facility is absolutely brilliant and has massively reduced the amount of contact from the public – which enables us to focus on the more detailed work,” adds Sue Mallinson.
There has also been a noticeable reduction in the number of appeals and challenges as the Taranto system provides proof of the contravention accompanied by a photo and a map of where the fine was incurred. As a busy holiday and conference destination, it’s important for Brighton and Hove to reduce congestion as well as enforce parking restrictions. Moving traffic contraventions account for half of the PCNs issued in the city. Bus lanes have been introduced to help keep traffic flowing and mobile CCTV cameras have been adopted. ANPR footage is integrated with the Taranto system, and the Brighton team has found that sending evidence of contraventions has increased payment of fines and it appears that Brighton is receiving fewer appeals and more payments as a result. All of this contributes to greater efficiency for Brighton and Hove’s parking enforcement team.
With high visitor numbers, it’s important for Brighton and Hove to trace vehicle users quickly, so DVLA lookup integration using the Taranto system enables PCNs to be sent to the right person. Taranto’s Fleet Bureau module also provides the facility to trace and transfer liability related to rental or leased vehicles, enabling fines to be processed faster. Fleet bureau has a VRM database of over 1 million records, which automates vehicle tracing and transfer of liability and is faster than using the DVLA system.
The Brighton parking team appreciates Taranto’s flexibility. As Team Leader Jasmine explains, they can respond to appeals better and where appropriate, make a manual intervention. For example, a caseworker can decide to extend the discount period, but then they can reinsert the PCN back into the system so that the correct processes can be automatically progressed. Jasmine comments: “We certainly couldn’t do this in the old system. If we took a PCN out of the system, it was impossible for it to go back into the process through the normal workflow and we had to monitor the timelines manually. Now, with Taranto, there’s much more flexibility and we can include an offer for the case, if for example the person didn’t see the original PCN and then once the discount has expired, it can go back to the correct progression of the case. This really helps with our workload as we no longer have to monitor the progression, Taranto automatically does this. This is really helpful and saves a lot of time.”
When moving to the new system, Stephen Simpson points out they had almost 20 years’ worth of data that needed to be migrated – which they thought would be a daunting task. However, data migration is a key element of a Taranto implementation, and the Taranto team has vast experience of migrating millions of records, with minimal risk, while maintaining service continuity. Moving legacy records is an opportunity to reconsider business processes, cleanse the dataset and also review the established data held in the system. The Brighton team was very relieved and pleased that the migration went really well and according to plan.
One of the tips that Brighton recommends to other organisations considering a move to Taranto Parking Enforcement Solution is to establish a group of ‘super-users’ of supervisors and officers to help other members of the team adapt to the new system. This approach meant that the team was really involved with the transition to the new Taranto system and individual team members took ownership of different elements of implementing the new system. According to Sue Mallinson: “The implementation went a lot smoother than anticipated and the approach was very professional. We’ve had a lot of support from Taranto’s project delivery and training team. It really has been an easy transition from the old system to the new one.”
Moving traffic contraventions account for half of the PCNs issued: Sending evidence of contraventions has increased fine payments and reduced appeals.