The ORA Blue Zone parking app is allegedly turning the streets of the Costa Blanca resort into low-cost car parks. “Thanks to this app, users can constantly extend the authorised parking period without needing to be in the area,” complained Raul Parra, president of Benidorm shopkeepers’ association Aico.
“When a car-owner had to go down and get another ticket when their time was up, they had to move their car,” he said. Paid parking zones are introduced to ensure the rotation of vehicles and the concessionary company that runs the ORA states on its web page that the maximum parking time is limited to two hours, Parra pointed out. This condition is also included in local bylaws although in practice there are no controls to prevent continual renewals. Juan Balestegui, spokesman for the Ciudadanos party, also agreed that Zona Azul parking, particularly in the town centre, should be restricted to two hours as it is in other towns, after which car-owners should move to another parking spot. Above all, the Blue Zone parking app’s attraction is its cheapness, compared with other options. Leaving a car all day in a public car park costs more than €20, a hotel carpark costs between €10 and €15 while a Zona Azul parking spot works out at around €4.50.