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Norwich company spots market gap for parking space app

PUBLISHED: 09:21 19 February 2015 | UPDATED: 13:14 19 February 2015

John Stutely(centre) and the Astutech team(l to r) Daniel Tink, Matthew Daly, Dan Guest and Ingrid Brunsted who have developed a new app called ParkNorwich, which helps users find free car parking spaces in the city.
Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

John Stutely(centre) and the Astutech team(l to r) Daniel Tink, Matthew Daly, Dan Guest and Ingrid Brunsted who have developed a new app called ParkNorwich, which helps users find free car parking spaces in the city. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Drivers in Norwich can now use a mobile phone app to find parking spaces in the city after a company spotted a gap in the market for frustrated car owners.

John Stutely(left) and the Astutech team(l to r) Daniel Tink, Dan Guest, Ingrid Brunsted and Matthew Daly who have developed a new app called ParkNorwich, which helps users find free car parking spaces in the city. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.John Stutely(left) and the Astutech team(l to r) Daniel Tink, Dan Guest, Ingrid Brunsted and Matthew Daly who have developed a new app called ParkNorwich, which helps users find free car parking spaces in the city. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Web development company Astutech moved into app design in 2010 and came up with the parking space product when its team decided to tackle the issue of driving in the city.

Investigation led them to the county council, which receives live updates on the parking spaces available in Chapelfield, John Lewis, St Andrews, St Giles, all the Park and Rides and more around the centre.

By mid-December 2014, ParkNorwich was launched as a free, downloadable app for Apple iOS and Android phones and has attracted more than 20,000 uses and 550 downloads so far.

John Stutely, managing director at Astutech, said there were no plans to monetise the app but the benefits of creating it were being felt by the company already.

“We wanted to look at giving something useful to the local community that used the technology we work with,” he said. “It has led to a number of referrals, and we are looking at rolling it out to other cities.”

Prior to this project, Astutech worked on Norwich Lanes’ web presence and with businesses around the region including the East Anglian Air Ambulance, the Department of Trade and Industry and Lotus Cars.

Rolling the ParkNorwich app out to other cities will depend on getting hold of the right information, said Mr Stutely, with Leeds and Edinburgh looking promising.

“Norwich does have a particularly acute problem with parking, though,” he added. “One of the nice things about the app is you can look at it before you go out and see how busy the city is.”

Key to the apps success has been its simple function, said Mr Stutely, doing “one thing and doing it well.”

What do you think about parking in the city centre? Tweet @StaufenbergJ, call 01603772531 or email jessica.staufenberg@archant.co.uk

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