It's time parking ticket machines were brought

The debate over parking charges continues to rage in our part of the county. While not yet the extortionate price of central London, sticking your motor in a convenient spot in West Sussex is becoming increasingly costly.

Thursday, 24th September 2009, 11:48 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 12:35 am

I accept that to park somewhere central costs a quid or so. However, there are a couple of questions I need answering.

We live in remarkable times.

For drivers who cannot read a map there is satellite navigation. We can send emails to the other side of the planet and transfer money to a bank account anywhere with a couple of clicks on a mouse.

So why do we still need to ensure we have a stack of coins in our purse or pocket to buy a parking ticket?

The technology exists to pay for parking using a debit card. But still we have to faff around with stockpiling coins in preparation for the next time we might want to park.

If, like me, you rarely have the right number of coins, you end up overpaying, as these blasted machines do not dispense change.

In Chichester, Bognor, Arundel and Littlehampton the system seems to be the same. If pay-to-park arrives in the Witterings, Selsey, Petworth and Midhurst (and I certainly hope it does not) I am sure the same antiquated arrangement will apply.

Then we have tickets that are non-transferable. If I park in one part of Chichester and buy a ticket for over two hours and decide I want to use it elsewhere in the city, it's tough luck. Nor am I allowed to pass on my ticket to anyone else. Why?

I am not using any more time in a council-run car park. I am simply using the time I have bought in a different location or manner. Yet I am penalised for supporting the local economy and using local shops and services.

As council and road tax-payers we motorists have already paid more than our fair share. I know many feel the same way, hence the resistance and debate surrounding the introduction of or increase to parking charges.

And then we have the irony of thousands of pounds being spent by councils in a bid to get us out of the car and on bike or foot instead.

If we all followed this zealous diktat there would be less money being spent in local authority-run car parks.

They cannot have it both ways.

If we are going to be forced to pay this additional tax for parking locally, then the least they can do is it make it easier for us.

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