Craven Council pledges to do better over pay and display machines

Craven Herald: Problems are encountered with the new solar panel pay and display units in Skipton car parks Problems are encountered with the new solar panel pay and display units in Skipton car parks

CRAVEN District Council has promised to do better after several weeks of problems with its car park pay and display machines.

Ticket machines in Coach Street car park are in the process of being replaced but trial, solar powered ones have proved to be temperamental.

On some days, including two over the Waterway Festival weekend - none of the machines was working, leading to frustrated visitors going to town council staff for help.

It is also believed one of the older machines was for a time giving off electric shocks.

Skipton ward councillor, Coun Robert Heseltine, said the council must be losing "significant revenue" and called on it to repair or replace the machines as soon as possible.

"I am given to understand that the council's political leadership and senior officers have been aware of these malfunctioning car park machines for several months," he said.

"The delay in rectifying the problem is descending into a farce, and apparently, the safety of the public is now at risk.

"Never mind the shock of having to pay inflated parking charges, I believe there has been an incident of a machine being electrically alive."

Coun Heseltine added: "You do not need to be Einstein to conclude that the council is losing significant revenue.

"Hopefully, Craven will immediately either maintain the machines properly or replace them with new units - an authority cannot claim to be hard up while also turning revenue away."

The council's asset and project manager, Hazel Smith, said the council regretted any inconvenience to members of the public trying to use the machines.

"I can assure them the issues with the car parking machines are being addressed.

"Unfortunately the two out of order pay and display machines in the Coach Street car park are not economically viable to repair, new ones have been ordered to replace them and we expect them to be installed by the end of June," she said.

"The new machine was a trial one and was out of order due to a full coin box. It has now been emptied and should be in good working order."

Ms Smith said income audits of the car parks were normally carried out every month, but staffing changes had led to a slight delay on both the April and May audits.

"They are now in the process of being completed, and we expect to complete both of them on or before next weekend."

When budgeting car park income, machine break-downs were always taken into account.

She added: "Customer service is very important to us and we understand the importance in ensuring all machines are working. We are addressing time scales in the fixing of faults on machines with our contractors.”

Comments (2)

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1:25pm Fri 13 Jun 14

Matt Murdock says...

Staff changes? The Council decided to make its parking staff redundant and employ Harrogate to do its enforcement. I doubt very much that any auditing has been completed since the last one done by the ousted parking manager.

The Council has know for a long time about the Coach Street machines and have still not replaced them. The Waterways Festival of 2013 the machines didnt work. Same again this year and guess what.........probabl
y the same next year.

Th eHigh Street car park machines are more often than not covered with a yellow bag. Is this because they are full of money? They used to get emptied regularly. Oh dear!

What about the missing car park signs? Is the Council continuining to issue parking fines to motorists on the High Street car park for example, although the signage is totally inadequate? What about the signs to warn blue badge holders that charges apply, where have all those gone? I certainly wouldn't be paying if I got a parking fine and I would be claiming my money back if I did!

The Council budgets for machine faults? Are you sure thats not just an excuss to cover up the real loss of income from the constant machine faults?

Cant say this public facing service is showing much of an improvement since sharing its service with another Council. No doubt the Councils figures will suggest its made a huge cost saving and income is on the up. Who will believe them?
Staff changes? The Council decided to make its parking staff redundant and employ Harrogate to do its enforcement. I doubt very much that any auditing has been completed since the last one done by the ousted parking manager. The Council has know for a long time about the Coach Street machines and have still not replaced them. The Waterways Festival of 2013 the machines didnt work. Same again this year and guess what.........probabl y the same next year. Th eHigh Street car park machines are more often than not covered with a yellow bag. Is this because they are full of money? They used to get emptied regularly. Oh dear! What about the missing car park signs? Is the Council continuining to issue parking fines to motorists on the High Street car park for example, although the signage is totally inadequate? What about the signs to warn blue badge holders that charges apply, where have all those gone? I certainly wouldn't be paying if I got a parking fine and I would be claiming my money back if I did! The Council budgets for machine faults? Are you sure thats not just an excuss to cover up the real loss of income from the constant machine faults? Cant say this public facing service is showing much of an improvement since sharing its service with another Council. No doubt the Councils figures will suggest its made a huge cost saving and income is on the up. Who will believe them? Matt Murdock
  • Score: 4

12:57pm Sat 14 Jun 14

veryannoyed99 says...

more of the same from our council I see (lame excuses that is)
more of the same from our council I see (lame excuses that is) veryannoyed99
  • Score: 0

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