Driven out of town by parking charges

OUR recent experience of the council’s approach to car parking charges makes me realise that it is hardly surprising that our town centre struggles to attract people to shop in it.

Earlier this month my wife parked in the multi-story in Wellgate, only to find that the ‘pay and display’ machine was not working. She had no mobile phone with which to pay using the cashless system, so assumed it would be OK to park anyway.

So, she was surprised and disappointed when she received a parking ticket, but even more disappointed by the letter she received in response to her appeal against the parking fine. In it the council accepted that the machine was out of order, but said that “... it remains the responsibility of a motorist to ensure that the vehicle is parked legally ... it would have been prudent to have parked at an alternative location if you did not have the means to pay for parking by phone.” In other words, “don’t blame us for our equipment being out of order (or for you not having a mobile phone with you)”.

And the message my wife will take from this is she might as well do her shopping in Meadowhall, an “alternative location” where parking is free, even though that might be another nail in the coffin for Rotherham’s town centre.

Tony Griffin, Grange Road, Rotherham