A full year wait for solution to parking machine problems

Visitors to Southport and residents alike will have to wait up to another years for modern parking machines to operate Sefton Council’s Pay and Display. And we still do not know whether these will include card swiping option, due to cost.  A Town Centre councillor has criticised the priorities of the Borough of Sefton which have led to these delays.

Town Centre Lib Dem Councillor Tony Dawson says:

 “Many of the Councils current ‘pay and display’ machines are rusting to pieces and have tiny faded instructions which are hard to read even in good weather if you have remembered your spectacles”

“They cannot accept the current 5p and 10p coins which were introduced in January 2012 and are forever breaking down, leading to problems for people who want to pay but cannot find a working machine close by.” 

The Council plans to replace the current stock of 187 pay and display machines in the Borough will be replaced with a smaller number of new machines which presumably will mean some drivers having to walk further to get their tickets in future. The plan is to increase the number of solar powered machines which will reduce utility and maintenance costs. The report going to the Council#s Bootle-run Cabinet this week do not, however, guarantee the installation of debit/credit card readers or contactless card readers. This will depend on cost.

Proposals previously discussed to introduce a “Pay by Phone” system for the payment of parking charges are to be progressed separately from the parking machine procurement.

 Councillor Dawson says:

“The plan is to complete these installations well into 2015 when the current coins will have been in circulation for over three years. The introduction of these coins was first announced in the summer of 2010 and was then delayed a year ‘to allow parking and vending machines to be changed’.

“Five years is an awfully long time to complete the changeover. While most local people know the problem and go prepared, visitors to the town can get themselves very frustrated tapping passers by for change in wind and rain. The priorities of the Council have been all wrong. If you ask the residents of Southport whether they would have wanted the £100,000 Market Markers or have proper parking machines brought in earlier,we all know what we would say.”


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