The Austrian Times reports that in March over one million parking permits in Vienna were bought via mobile phones for the first time.

The service has been available in Vienna since the end of 2003, and seven other Austrian cities have since adopted it, including St Poelten, Gmunden and Bregenz.

To access the system the user sends an SMS to www.handyparken.at, with details of the time at which they will need the permit. A confirmation message is sent back and another when the permit is due to expire. All permits are then listed on the user