MOTORISTS should soon have a smoother ride paying for parking in the district’s car parks.
Stratford District Council’s Cabinet this week agreed to spend more than £300,000 upgrading the existing parking machines, which they say have reached the end of their working lives.
Currently pay and display measures are in place at six of the authority’s car parks with Bridgeway multi-storey and surface car parks using pay-on-exit.
The council had previously considered changing these machines to pay and display, but after a public consultation revealed more than two-thirds of drivers were happy with the existing arrangements, councillors opted to stick with them.
Instead the machines will be upgraded from a £190,000 cash pot – funded by developers as part of building contracts in the district agreed with the council.
The installation of new machines at Bridgeway multi-storey and surface car parks is expected to cost somewhere in the region of £100,000 with the remaining £90,000 set to be spent replacing some of the council’s other pay and display machines.
But as the council say all of the 36 machines need upgrading, it was agreed a further £120,000 would be spent funding the replacement of the remaining parking machines in pay and display car parks across the district.
Concerns were raised about the reliability of the machines and barrier system in the Bridgeway multi-storey and surface car parks with some councillors questioning whether improvements could be made in that area.
As a result, it was decided head of service, Tony Perks would look at other ways to increase reliability – including the possibility of implementing automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) on entry and exit.
This involves a vehicle’s number plate being scanned upon entry into the car park.
At the end of their stay, a driver would then be required to enter their number plate into the machine and pay the required amount before driving out with the barrier automatically rising upon reading the number plate.
Pay and display machines will begin to be replaced from this week but it is not known exactly when a decision on arrangements at Bridgeway multi-storey and surface car parks will be made.