UNRELIABLE parking machines are contributing to problems with parking in the town centre according to members of a community action group.
The Uttoxeter Community Action Group have voiced their concerns about a number of parking machines in the town centre, and they have made suggestions for a number of measures to improve the parking situation.
The action group want to see extra parking attendants to police the unreliable parking machines and are keen to push the idea of a pay-on-exit parking scheme to the borough council.
The group are concerned that people will be discouraged from shopping in the town centre if parking is an inconvenience.
Rev John Titlow, a member of the Uttoxeter Community Action Group, said: “Unreliable parking machines, especially on The Maltings, are a big issue.
“If people have to pay for a parking ticket, then the council should employ enough parking attendants to maintain the machines on a regular basis.
“It’s not good for the town if parking facilities are inadequate.
“When one machine is broken, a backlog of people is created at the other machines, meaning that people have to queue up and wait around, which can have the effect of discouraging people from choosing to shop in the town centre.
“They are often broken down and you don’t see very many council parking attendants about.
“A pay-on-exit scheme would be a good idea, which we have suggested before, however the council have previously disregarded this suggestion.”
Mary Dodge, a member of the Uttoxeter Community Action Group, said: “With 700 new homes soon to come, the town centre parking will be strained, especially if all of those homes have cars.
“We’re going to need more parking in town to cope with the demand.
“If a machine is broken down, people should be allowed to park for free rather than have to queue at another machine.”
An East Staffordshire Borough Council spokesman said: “The council is aware that as a result of necessary upgrades and repairs, some motorists have experienced minor problems in the Maltings car park.
“A Community and Civic Enforcement Officer has patrolled in Uttoxeter every day over the last few weeks.
“In the upcoming weeks it is likely that the number of officers working in Uttoxeter will increase.
“There are no plans to introduce a pay-on-exit scheme.”
The comments come after the issue of parking charges was once again raised by the Uttoxeter Parking Reform Group.
David Denny, chairman of the parking reform group and former member of the Uttoxeter Community Action Group, said: “The Parking Reform Group, and the town council have both urged the borough council to take action to stop the strangulation of the town centre economy.
“It should be pointed out that Central Government is urging councils to reverse parking charges to help revitalise town centres.
“It’s time that the local councillors and businesses took up the reins again and got the parking revision agenda on the agenda again.”