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Craven Council pledges to do better over pay and display machines
10:07am Friday 13th June 2014 in News
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.”
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