A Fulham man who spent months charting London's car parks and controlled parking zones for an iPhone application hopes he may have struck gold.
Chris Bocsardy cycled all over the capital gathering information for the project, which shows drivers all their nearest parking options, along with other details such as prices and times for when local traffic wardens clock off.
The 35-year-old from Niton Street came up with the idea after being made redundant from a property marketing firm last year, using his new-found free time to build a vast parking database and investing his own money in developing the software.
The result – called iparkmycar – was released one month ago, and despite a slow start Chris hopes its benefits will soon be apparent to drivers frustrated by confusing rules and variable charges.
"I've always been an ideas person but I've never really been able to act on it, because I was working full time. Suddenly I had been made redundant with a bit of a pay-off," said Chris.
"Parking in London isn't cheap and is especially frustrating when you find out there was a cheaper option just around the corner. I realised I could create an app to help people save time, money and stress.
"My main aim is to make my money back, and if it does that I'll count it as a success. It's my first foray into doing something on my own rather than working for someone else, and it's been really enjoyable."
Information about the many hundreds of controlled parking zones was freely available on borough council website, but gathering data about car parks proved more of a challenge.
"There was a lot of information missing," said Chris, "I might know that a car park existed, for instance, but I didn't know the prices.
"I cycled to about 100 car parks over a couple of months, which I really enjoyed."
Other features of iparkmycar include warnings for drivers approaching the congestion charging zone, a timer showing how long is left on the meter, and a car finder for anyone prone to losing track of where they parked.
If it takes off, it could inspire Chris to explore other ideas which make use of rapid advances in technology.
"Who would have thought ten years ago that we'd have been going round with these multi-purpose devices, like something out of Star Trek," he said. "It's just going to get and more integrated into our lives."
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