MOTORISTS have driven council chiefs to think again over the district’s car parks payment policy.
Stratford District Council has been considering introducing a system which allows drivers to make debit and credit card payments when using district council-owned car parks.
Currently pay and display measures are in place at all of Stratford District Council’s car parks, except Bridgeway multi-storey and surface car parks, which operate under pay-on-exit arrangements.
But members of the Cabinet heard this week that motorists like flexibility offered by pay when leaving, which has prompted a decision on the way forward to be deferred while other options are considered – including possibly extending pay on exit.
After machines in the Recreation Ground car park were vandalised earlier this year, new ones – with a pay-by-card functionality – were recently introduced.
Since then, council chiefs have been looking at the possibility of rolling out new machines across the council’s other pay and display car parks to include the pay-by-card facility.
They say the remainder of the existing machines, which were installed back in 2008, are reaching the end of their lives and need to be replaced.
The new machines would include the regular chip and pin facility as well as contactless payment but due to technical issues and their design, it would not be possible for motorists to use the Stratford card or pay using notes.
According to the report, the cost of replacing the 36 machines with the new facility would be somewhere in the region of £173,000. A recent consultation into the district council’s car parks revealed around 60 per cent of users would pay by card if the facility was introduced.