Horsham District Council has installed a new ticketless parking system in Piries Place car park. Apparently, this is to make town centre parking easier and more convenient for visitors.
This was my experience of it, on the afternoon of May 2…
As I entered the car park, my number plate was scanned by the cameras.
I parked the car and went shopping but noticed two queues of about ten people in each queue, waiting to pay their exit charges at each of the two pay machines.
When I returned to my car an hour later, the queues each now contained about 20 people and they were moving pretty slowly.
There was an attendant standing there, watching, but doing nothing despite the fact that 40 frustrated people were beginning to get irate.
I told him that I was not prepared to queue for 20 minutes to get out of the car park and suggested that he open the barriers to dissolve the queues.
Initially he told me he could not do that, so I suggested that he contacted his superior and get somebody to come and open the barriers.
He said that nobody could do that.
It was only when I threatened to physically open the barriers myself, that he took out his mobile phone, phoned his superior and… Hey presto ! The barriers were opened.
Is there anybody at Horsham District Council who can ensure that the barriers are, by default, opened whenever the ‘waiting time’ to use the ‘pay machines’, exceeds five minutes?
If somebody does not resolve this problem, I fear that there will be a revolt by frustrated members of the public who are, in effect, being deprived of their liberty, held to ransom or perhaps even being treated as hostages for disproportionate and ridiculous lengths of time by Horsham District Council.
I suspect that nothing will be done until one of our district councillors has had personal experience of what happened on May 2.
Then again, call me a cynic…
Park Lane, Maplehurst
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