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Friday, 24 October 2014

U-turn on parking rules

COUNCIL bosses are set to scrap demands for vehicle registration numbers at new car parking ticket machines across South Lakeland.

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THAT’S THE TICKET: Gwyn Roberts, right, a visitor to Ulverston from Wales, uses one of the new machines in the Brewery Street car park

The feature was found to be unpopular with drivers, causing a rise in complaints to the authority over the past three months.

In particular, elderly motorists and those with arthritic fingers found the task difficult when attempting to purchase tickets.

Members of South Lakeland District Council’s cabinet committee agreed the feature would stop as soon as possible.

Councillor Ian Stewart, portfolio holder for economy and enterprise, told the meeting, held in Kendal’s town hall: “We are waiting to receive a date from the software company as to when they can disable this feature on the machines around the district.

“But it’s appropriate to say that people had difficulty with the keypads, we listened and we have acted promptly to rectify the situation,” he added.

The machines, which were installed during the spring, will still require a registration number for week-long tickets.

The move was just one of a series of recommendations put forward on car parking at the meeting.

Led by Cartmel Councillor Mary Wilson, the council’s task and finish group is also recommending car parking charges do not increase next year.

A report on the matter described any potential price hikes as “entirely counterproductive”.

Cllr Wilson explained: “We feel there would be a lot of resistance to any increases, particularly to the one hour parking tariff.

“The only area to buck the trend in terms of car park usage this year has been Ulverston.

Reducing the tariff at Stockbridge Lane to 20p has actually increased the numbers of people who choose to park there.

“We would therefore urge cabinet that future decisions on car parking prices are made after careful consideration of clear evidence and trends, not just on a wish in the dark.”

Car parking charges generate around £2 million in revenue for SLDC every year.

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