Nosey Parker

Nosey Parker helps iPhone-touting Brits park for less

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[UK] Finding a parking space in major cities across the UK can be a nightmare. Now a new iPhone app from Manchester-based digital agency Stardotstar hopes to make things a little easier.

Nosey Parker enables users of Apple’s smartphone in the UK to find the nearest car park to their current position and the cheapest too.

While there are already a few iPhone apps that help make finding a parking space easier – by providing real-time parking information for specific towns, for example – Stardotstar say their app is the first to provide a comprehensive database of UK specific car park locations and prices, covering around 13,400 UK car parks or just over 1.8 million spaces. The Nosey Parker app also gives information on car parks with parent and toddler spaces, disabled spaces and car parks that accept payment by credit card.

The data is provided by Ian Betts Ltd (, which the company has licensed exclusively in return for sharing revenue. Stardotstar’s Director Gareth Langley tells me that they’re pretty sure this gives them access to the largest and most up-to-date database in the UK, which suggests that it maybe difficult for others to easily replicate.

The app is launching today (iTunes link) with a price of 59p until 28th Feb when it will return to its normal price of £1.79.

Moving forward, Langley says that version 1.1 of the app will be submitted to the App Store next week and will hopefully be released a week or so later. It will be offered as a free upgrade, and will include:

  • Search: find car parks near where you’re going, not just where you are
  • Filter: only show car parks with parent and toddler spaces, disabled spaces, take credit card payment…
  • Directions (via Google Maps)

In the future, Stardotstar are looking into adding some real-time data so that in some instances it will be possible to not only locate a car park but also know if there is a space free.

One other feature that I suggested they should consider is the ability to locate Blue Badge spaces for disabled drivers. These car parking spaces are provided by the UK government across the country (and in other EU countries too) for use by those who are registered as disabled. The database already exists but would require the relevant governmental department opening up the data for public/commercial use. That’s not asking too much, surely.

  • Joilbus

    It looks like Manchester is really beginning to develop a startup scene…

  • Rodolfo

    Does this aggregate the user generated information from as well or it’s only static content?

  • Gareth Langley

    @joibus – indeed ;-)

    @Rodlfo – Nosey Parker doesn’t get it’s data from parkopedia, but we’re open to partnerships… The data is not static either, with around 90% of the 13,450 car parks updated each year, on an ongoing basis.

  • Gez O'Brien

    One week in and we’re into the top 25 (ok – we are actually 25th!) on the App Store.

    The update 1.1 will be online this afternoon.

    Happy Parking.

  • Paul Clarke

    The comment on opening up of the Blue Badge database would be valid if it were government that actually owned the rights in it.

    AFAIK that particular service is run by a part of government (the Office for Disability Issues), surfaces through Directgov, but is built on data which is bought in from a commercial organisation that collects it and licenses its use. As you’d expect, that license cost reflects the work that’s gone into its collection.

    Whether govt should collect the data itself (at an additional cost), buy out the terms of the licence to allow unlimited free reuse, or do something clever with Open Street Map or similar to crowd-source it (harder to ensure ongoing accuracy) is another issue entirely.

  • eugene

    @Paul Clarke that’s the approach we are taking at Parkopedia

    We will also be integrating similar functionality into our iPhone app -

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