Visitors and residents 'paying out unfairly for parking' says councillor

PUBLISHED: 11:00 03 August 2014

Mike Bell.

Mike Bell.

Archant

DRIVERS are being 'ripped off' by the council's no-change parking policy according to one North Somerset councillor.

Motorists who do not have the correct change for pay-and-display meters on and off streets in Weston and North Somerset are overpaying by tens of thousands of pounds a year, says town and district councillor Mike Bell.

Cllr Bell requested figures from North Somerset Council’s parking manager, which revealed the overpayments.

He said the figures only come from the new metric machines, which have a back office system of reports, and showed from April last year to March 2014 motorists using the on-street pay and display machines in Weston town centre had overpaid by £7,886.

The reports also showed the machines in Carlton Street car park had collected £7,169 in overpayments for the same period.

Councillor Bell said: “This shows yet again the council has been ripping off people for years, in this case because the meters don’t give change.

“People don’t always have the right coins to pay for their parking and it is simply unfair that the meters don’t give change and don’t provide the option for credit card or mobile phone payments.”

Cllr Bell also raised the point 
that overall the excess payments 
will have totalled tens of 
thousands of pounds a year across the council’s 13 charging car parks, most of which are in Weston and Worle.

He added: “The council has tried to simplify the charges, but these figures show residents and visitors in Weston are again paying out unfairly for parking.

“People resent paying for parking as it is, does the council really need to add insult to injury by not providing change?”

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