Advertisement

Parking ticket machines set to return to car parks in council u-turn

Pay and display ticket machines are making a comeback (Image: Martini archive) <i>(Image: Martini archive)</i>
Pay and display ticket machines are making a comeback (Image: Martini archive) (Image: Martini archive)

Ticket machines are returning to car parks in Gosport after many drivers refused to pay on their phones.

The removal of the machines began in May as part of a cost-cutting measure by Gosport Borough Council.

The council, which is run by the Liberal Democrats, hoped to save £30,000 on running costs and another £30,000 on upgrades.

Daily Echo: Councillor Peter Chegwyn.
Daily Echo: Councillor Peter Chegwyn.

At the time, Council leader Peter Chegwyn, pictured above, said: "I appreciate that for most people it's a change. But in the current financial climate we need to save taxpayers' money wherever we can, and this will save council taxpayers about £30,000 per year.

"We want to concentrate our spending on priorities such as improving the town centre, protecting public services and investing in a cleaner, greener Gosport."

READ MORE: Gosport: Pay-and-display machines to be switched off

But following a reluctance to use the MiPermit app, particularly among older drivers, the council has announced it will be buying new machines and restoring existing ones.

This means 12 car parks will allow cash or card payments in Gosport by March.

Cllr Chegwyn told the BBC: "Although the proportion of payments by MiPermit has increased... cards still seem to be the most popular method of payment and there's still a significant number of people who prefer cash.

"Local drivers have shown what they prefer and we're happy to listen to that message and change our policy."

MiPermit gives drivers the options of paying by text, QR code, automated phone line, smartphone app or via a website.

Payments can also be made by speaking to an assistant on MiPermit's helpline. A smartphone is not necessary.

Edith Kinghorn, from the Gosport Older People's Forum, told the BBC: "People don't like putting card details into their phones. They don't like being forced into doing this kind of thing.

"Many of them have the original type of mobile phone which only makes phone calls."

A quarter of car park income in Gosport was still cash - but MiPermit had overtaken this payment method.