Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Council backs down on penalising motorists without mobiles

Cornwall Council has admitted that officers made a mistake when threatening to give parking tickets to motorists who failed to pay for parking when a car park machine broke down.

Until recently, the rules have been simple. In pay car parks, you have to buy a ticket. But if the machine has broken down, you don't. But with the introduction of the new RingGo system, motorists have the option of paying by credit card over their mobile phones.

Some motorists in Newquay have been threatened with fines when machines were broken and have been told by enforcement officers that they have to use the RingGo system instead. This is despite some of the motorists involved not carrying a mobile or having a suitable credit or debit card.

Today my colleague Geoff Brown raised the issue at Full Council and received an assurance from Cabinet Member Graeme Hicks that Ringo should only be seen as an alternative and was not a back up for failed machines. It will therefore remain the case that if the machine is broken, motorists do not have to buy a ticket.

UPDATE - In the original post, I said that some motorists had been fined. I am now told that motorists were simply threatened with fines but chose to use a different car park instead. However, the point of the post stands.

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