Parking in Rennes. Will there be “flashy” cars in 2023?

The city of Rennes plans to use cars with automatic number plate reading. They allow, while circulating in the streets, to verbalize unpaid or exceeded parking very quickly and automatically. A measure that is causing concern among Breton motorists.

The information has been circulating in the press for a year now. And she continues to get a lot of ink flowing.

This week, Mensuel de Rennes announces the upcoming arrival in the Breton capital of cars with automatic number plate reading, known as Lapi. Also called the “PV sulfates”.

Thanks to a camera system, these cars are able to check more than 1,000 parked vehicles per hour, compared to 200 for an agent. In case of non-payment, they automatically verbalise.

Concerns and questions are on the table

Their circulation in the streets of Rennes would make more than one motorist jump. But also the public road surveillance agents (ASVP) are already worried.

There will likely be a margin of error that a car, unlike an agent, cannot control.

Stéphane Morandeau

Southern municipalities 35

For Stéphane Morandeau, trade unionist at Sud Collectivités Territoriales 35, the system raises several questions. “There will likely be a margin of error that a car, unlike an agent, cannot control“.

What to do if the cameras detect an unpaid amount when the user has to pay for his parking space? How do you know that a disabled person parked in a paid zone is entitled to free parking in these spaces?

When contacted, the municipality indicates that it shares these questions. “Investigations will be carried out“, says Valérie Faucheux, assistant for mobility and travel at the town hall. If the use of one or more Lapi cars is intended, she ensures that “nothing is done.”

Other major cities already use the Lapi system. In Marseille, Paris, Montpellier, Toulouse or even in Lille, where the number of PV has increased from 10,000 to 40,000 per month according to our colleagues from La Voix du Nord. The benefits of these after-parking packages go to the city.

The decision still comes to a local public company (SPL). It is a legal structure with public capital which operates under private law.

The municipality confirms that it intends to delegate the management of its car park and that a “work is underway” with Citédia Métropole. This SPL already takes care of paid parking in Rennes, or the ice rink for example.

“The city and Rennes Métropole are the two shareholders and the elected officials are part of the board“, specifies Valérie Faucheux.

The current “periwinkles” will therefore be replaced by Citédia employees. Stéphane Morandeau apologizes here “loss of a public service task again”, recall the privatization of municipal diggers last May.

The fifteen ASVPs, previously responsible for controlling parking in paid areas, will then form the new anti-incivility brigade, the mayor’s campaign promise in 2020. They were to be joined by three road workers.

There are no planned cuts.

Valerie Faucheux

Mobility and travel assistant

The creation of this brigade will be presented to the municipal council on 19 September for a desired implementation in September 2023.

They will have other local missions to deal with the nuisances of everyday life such as garbage, inscriptions on the walls“, reports the elected official who supports”that no abolition of positions is foreseen.

In its momentum, the municipality is also expanding the paid parking areas around the new metro stations on line B. By the end of 2022, 1,200 extra spaces will be covered by a parking meter, i.e. a total of 8,000 paid spaces.

The Town Hall thus wants “a treatment more fair and just” between fraudsters and those who have a good reputation, but also between checks in neighborhoods and the more frequent ones in the city center. And that requires more resources.

Based in particular on the experiences of other cities, Citédia will report its conclusions about the operation and the necessary funds. The number of agents needed and the potential entry into circulation of these “flashy” cars will therefore be known in the spring, by June 2023 at the latest.

Valérie Faucheux ensures that users and residents are informed as soon as a decision is made. Reminder that this service, provided by Citédia, may eventually be offered to other municipalities in the Rennes metropolitan area.

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