'Costly and unreliable' ticket machines set to be upgraded

PUBLISHED: 07:47 07 August 2019

Swan Meadow Car Park, Saffron Walden. Picture: SaffronPhoto

Swan Meadow Car Park, Saffron Walden. Picture: SaffronPhoto

SaffronPhoto 2016

Ticket machines in council-run car parks across Uttlesford are becoming "costly and unreliable" and the authority is now looking at introducing updated models.

Uttlesford District Council (UDC) has ticket machines across its 10 car parks but, it says, the existing machines have been in place for many years and are becoming "unreliable and costly to maintain".

Among the options the council is considering is to upgrade the existing ticket machines to include cashless payment as well as cash.

A benefit of this upgrade, UDC says, would be to enable the customer to check their vehicle into the car park using their credit or debit card. They would then free to stay as long as they wished - within the time limit rules of the particular car park - and return at their convenience.

Councillor Deryk Eke, lead member at the district council for car parking, said: "We are looking into all the options available to replace the existing ticket machines and this upgrade is one of them. No decision has been made yet and we want to gather feedback about this upgrade option from businesses and the public.

"If we did pursue this option it might be possible that some of the work could be completed before Christmas."

The company offering the cashless upgrade, Flowbird, is bringing its demonstration upgrade ticket machines on Friday to Saffron Walden market square from 10.30am to midday, and then Great Dunmow town square from 1.30pm to 3pm.

A spokesman for UDC said: "Anyone is welcome to come along and view the machines and provide feedback."

The 10 car parks run by UDC include: Angel Lane, Chequers Lane, New Street, and White Street in Great Dunmow; Fairycroft Road, Rose and Crown, The Common, and

Swan Meadow in Saffron Walden; and Crafton Green and Lower Street in Stansted Mountfitchet.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? E-mail Daniel.mansfield@archant.co.uk or write to the Editor, Fairycroft House, 37 Audley Road, Saffron Walden, CB11 3HD.

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