Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Parking Charge Madness!

The view from my office here in Nelson Street includes an opportunity, in moments of distraction, to watch activity in the road to include the regular motorists who drive up this one way street in the wrong direction and the use of the “on street” parking spaces.

Due to the firms of solicitors, accountants etc. based in Nelson Street there are inevitably regular client comings and goings and the spaces are generally well used with helpful parking income for Southend Borough Council.
For as long as charges have applied there have been coin operated ticket machines which as far as I can tell have been used by the vast majority of people parking in the street.

Now I am not claiming to be a great supporter of the design of the pay machine the council has adopted in more recent years, and I am sure that I am not the only person to be confronted by machines which are out of order or refuse to accept coinage, but on the occasions where they are in working order they are at least usable.

However recently it has been all change in Nelson Street with the latest bizarre “improvements” which have resulted in the pay machines being covered and reasonably small notices being displayed requiring those parking to either download an app to their smart phone to make payments or to phone and pay by card.

The result has been some people missing the signs and assuming that charges have been suspended resulting in parking tickets being issued, or being generally bemused and confused and either taking a risk of parking without a ticket or parking elsewhere.
Indeed for those without a smartphone or without immediate access to a credit card it would appear that the Council now wishes to make Nelson Street a non-parking areas.

Parking charges are very important to the Council and encouraging visitors and residents to park and pay should be encouraged by making the process simple and accessible. For heaven sake let’s stop this mad system now and ensure that we have well maintained and simple to use pay machines in place so that any frustration we face in paying parking charges ise not increased by an apparent reluctance on the part of the Authority to accept our money.

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