Bitter skirmishes are raging between motorists and councils all over the country. But could automation, big data and disruptive technology provide a solution?

Samantha Moore may seem jolly, perched among the jars of fudge and flying saucers at her sweet shop on Fore Street in Brixham, the picturesque Devon fishing town. But there’s one subject sure to sour her mood: parking. Moore and her family live above the shop and pay Torbay district council £50 a year for an off-peak permit, which allows them to leave their Peugeot hatchback in the nearby town-centre car park between 3pm and 10am.

That’s convenient from Monday to Friday, when Moore’s husband takes the car to work. At weekends, she says, “Parking is a nightmare. On Saturday mornings, we have to put the car anywhere we can find a free space in Brixham.” That means leaving it on residential streets. “And then the residents feel we’re taking their parking spaces. We’ve had dog turds smeared on our windows, rude notes left under the wipers, damage done to the car.”

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