A PAY on exit scheme is being considered by council chiefs for car parks in Uttoxeter although the town’s main car park has been deemed ‘unsuitable’.
A new report to East Staffordshire Borough Council’s cabinet investigating the introduction of new technology to borough council car parks suggests as much as £681,000 may need to be spent installing new ticket machines, computers and barriers at its car parks,.
The proposals, which would affect all Uttoxeter town centre car parks, have been drawn up in reaction to increasing issues with the current ‘ageing and obsolete’ system.
Pay and display machines in East Staffordshire malfunctioned 1,040 times between November last year and March — an increase of 64 per cent on the previous year and at a cost of £75.50 an hour every time a repair engineer has to be called out.
Plans to install new ticket machines and barriers are among a raft of options that will be discussed at a cabinet meeting of ruling Tory councillors on Monday.
A pay on exit scheme has long been requested by community leaders and councillors in Uttoxeter and would almost certainly be welcomed by the public.
The report to the cabinet says: “Introducing new equipment will allow for future trends such as chip and pin, machines accepting bank notes and chip based smart cards to enable the user to pay in advance, which can then be topped up.
“This, in turn could open the door for introducing the possibility of barriers on suitable car parks” However, some cold water is poured on the idea being used in The Maltings car park in Uttoxeter, with the report deeming the installation of barriers in this particularly car park as ‘unsuitable’.
The report says: “Both entrances are unsuitable for barriers due to the rear access to Boots, the garage frontage and other residential access, plus the short access road off Silver Street.
“Different barrier systems could be considered but may prove more costly.” The Fairfield Road long stay car park is also deemed unsuitable for a barrier system due to its ‘restricted access’, as is Uttoxeter Leisure Centre.
Another of the four options listed in the report — to modify the existing pay and display machines at a one-off cost of £28,029 — has been recommended by parking officials.
However, councillors may vote for the more expensive options of installing brand new machines either in one go or in phases over the next three years, with barriers a possibility.
Installing new machines at all car parks along with barriers and a new IT system would cost £681,000 the most expensive option for consideration.