NEW car parking meters in Newton Abbot have got some motorists in a right old spin, with one reduced to tears.
Among those left confused was Bob Doubleday, a director of the Royal Casino in Bank Street, who thinks the machines just installed in the town’s cattle market car park are definitely not the ticket.
He was annoyed to find the regular dispensers had been replaced by state-of-the-art contraptions which were less than user-friendly.
‘Two of them would take cards only which is not what I wanted.
‘The one which took cash, that I did want, confused me so much that I just left without buying a ticket,’ he explained.
His exasperation at the ‘test your IQ’ trickiness of the new arrivals was matched by one pensioner who was found in tears because he was totally flummoxed by the tortuous procedure of completing a transaction.
The upset pensioner was bailed out by a techno-wise Good Samaritan while Mr Doubleday left a note on his car windscreen saying he’d given up the ghost.
‘I gave up after 10 minutes of fiddling about with the machine. After following complex instructions to pay cash I was instructed to press the blue button. Which one? There were three!’ he said.
He has since fired off a complaint to Teignbridge Council outlining his grievance and telling his tale of woe in the lost battle with misleading machinery.
He was particularly upset that warnings had not been issued about the imminent change in car park furniture.
The miffed motorist said of his Waterloo moment: ‘It was supposed to take coins but would not. In addition it was not user-friendly with quite a time-consuming exercise in how to interpret the instructions… resulting in a failure to allow coins to be used.
He said: ‘I am a frequent user of this car park. I do not use credit cards or phones to pay. I want to pay by coin as I have always done.
‘Surely the council can arrange to have all meters take coins in addition to the new methods?
‘Having to walk the extra distance to use only one meter in a big car park is also adding great difficulties for people who are under quite tight time schedules for work and other purposes.’
And he urges Teignbridge: ‘Please re-consider the parking arrangements on this site and review any other plans for them in and around Teignbridge.’
A spokesman for the district authority said: ‘Teignbridge is always looking for ways to make it even easier for people to pay for their parking in ways that suit them – whether that’s cash, card or phone.
‘To gain a better understanding of how people prefer to pay, and where we can make suitable changes in the future, we’ve been trialling card payments in selected car parks. ‘Where we are doing it, there’s always cash machine available – although on this occasion, unfortunately, the machine was not working.
‘This was reported to us by Mr Doubleday and we apologised to him.
‘We’re really grateful he contacted us and we were able to get it fixed quickly.’