Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Is cash no longer legal tender in Southend?

I have commented before on the efforts Southend Council appear to be making to dissuade visitors from using the Town's car parks by making payment as difficult as possible.

This came home to me again last week when my wife and I decided to go to the Odeon to see the latest Mary Poppins film. Perhaps I am showing my age but my mobile telephone is not permanently attached to my body and knowing that it would not be needed in the cinema I left it at home.

We were delighted to find a space in the small car park to the north of London Road close to Pizza Express and indeed were surprised to note the number of spaces available. Having got out of my car to find the payment machine the problem then dawned - the only available payment option was by phone or via the app and with no phone I was completely stymied. So there were spaces and I was happy and willing to pay but was unable to do so because of the absence of a payment machine which accepted cash or credit card.

There was someone else also trying to park who did not want to download the app and was trying to follow the directions to pay be text message but her attempts were being rejected.

So in the end we both left and parked further down London Road opposite Nazareth House avoiding any payment. Ok so this parking fee would not have underpinned the social care budget for the coming year but how often is this happening and how many visitors, like my fellow unsuccessful parker, are threatening not to return!