Plans to upgrade car park machines


Borough council bosses are looking into upgrading ticket machines in 16 of the authority’s car parks – enabling payment by mobile phone.

The need to replace the ‘outdated’ machines was discussed at a meeting of the environment and performance committee last week.

It was noted civil enforcement officers have spent 111 hours of patrolling time since April fixing machine faults.

“A lot more is spent now on doing minor fixes and they are not as disabled-friendly as they could be,” said Steve Lumb, head of built environment and development.

“We are recommending the council maintains its income stream from the car parks, which is used to make improvements in the town.”

The estimated cost of buying 28 new ticket machines is £105,000.

Councillors rejected the use of number plate recording technology with the new machines – which would prevent motorists from exchanging tickets with each other.

Coun Mark Baker said such machines are ‘annoying to use’ and would only serve to anger people using the car parks.

A council report reveals the authority netted an income of £966,749 from its pay-and-display car parks in the year 2013/14 – £14,800 of which derived from penalty charge notices. Over the same period, the cost of the council’s car parking operation, including maintenance and repairs, was £399,174.

Some car parks situated further from the town centre have been losing money due to a lack of usage. Couns Mary Wright and James Knowles suggested introducing lower daily tariffs at these car parks to encourage their use.

The recommendations will be considered by cabinet tomorrow (Wednesday).