Council rakes in money from parking machines that don't give change

WILTSHIRE Council is raking in hundreds of thousands of pounds’ profit from parking machines that do not give change.

Over the past three years it has made £730,000 – an extra income of a quarter of a million a year.

That was more than any other local authority out of the 79 which responded to freedom of information requests made by a national newspaper.

The AA called it a “scandal” and the Taxpayers’ Alliance said it was “a disgrace”.

AA spokesman Luke Bodet said: “One thing that really irritates drivers is that they have to have the exact change.

“Some car parks provide options to pay by credit card over the phone but these leave older, maybe more vulnerable motorists open to this overcharging scandal.

“These older drivers, and the less well-off, are having to dig in to their pockets to give councils money they don’t deserve.

“This is hard to take, particularly when they are making money hand over fist by giving people parking tickets.”

Taxpayers’ Alliance chief executive Jonathan Isaby said: “Bosses in Wiltshire should hang their heads in shame.

“They are supposed to be serving residents – not the other way round – and these machines need to be replaced as soon as possible.”

Wiltshire says all the money goes to fund “transport initiatives” including subsidies for rural buses to serve those without cars.

A spokesman said: “We give people the option of a variety of methods to pay for tickets to use our car parks.

“If people don’t have the correct change they can pay by debit or credit card via their mobile phone at every car park we run, and to save money, monthly or annual season tickets are available.”

Comments (18)

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4:17pm Fri 16 May 14

checkthedata says...

A 20p 'processing' fee is added when texting in your parking charge even though, I presume, it's a much more efficient and cost effective method for the council - so not exactly saving the residents any more money there either.
A 20p 'processing' fee is added when texting in your parking charge even though, I presume, it's a much more efficient and cost effective method for the council - so not exactly saving the residents any more money there either. checkthedata
  • Score: 14

5:14pm Fri 16 May 14

STRIPEY51 says...

All car parking should be free to encourage people to visit and shop in Salisbury, after all we pay road tax, and it would stop Salisbury going down hill more than is already.
All car parking should be free to encourage people to visit and shop in Salisbury, after all we pay road tax, and it would stop Salisbury going down hill more than is already. STRIPEY51
  • Score: 10

6:57pm Fri 16 May 14

Mark1967 says...

I've been saying this for years. At the least it's not exactly ethical is it? But then when did Wiltshire Council ever apply ethics or logic to anything?

"A spokesman said: “We give people the option of a variety of methods to pay for tickets to use our car parks.

“If people don’t have the correct change they can pay by debit or credit card via their mobile phone at every car park we run, and to save money, monthly or annual season tickets are available.”

The underlying message there sounds to be, if you don't have the correct change, then tough. Typical council spin. Ripping shoppers and visitors off but at the same time trying to convince us that by doing so, they're acting in our best interests. I am assuming that we're talking about the Maltings car park here? Yes, those machines are a nice little money making scheme for WC. A bit like a one armed bandit that never pays out. Wouldn't it make more sense to have machines that take the fee when you leave? They've applied that idea at New Street, and at least shoppers can see how much it's going to cost for when they return so more likely they will have the right change. I believe the machines in Bournemouth (Richmond Hill) and Bath give change.
I've been saying this for years. At the least it's not exactly ethical is it? But then when did Wiltshire Council ever apply ethics or logic to anything? "A spokesman said: “We give people the option of a variety of methods to pay for tickets to use our car parks. “If people don’t have the correct change they can pay by debit or credit card via their mobile phone at every car park we run, and to save money, monthly or annual season tickets are available.” The underlying message there sounds to be, if you don't have the correct change, then tough. Typical council spin. Ripping shoppers and visitors off but at the same time trying to convince us that by doing so, they're acting in our best interests. I am assuming that we're talking about the Maltings car park here? Yes, those machines are a nice little money making scheme for WC. A bit like a one armed bandit that never pays out. Wouldn't it make more sense to have machines that take the fee when you leave? They've applied that idea at New Street, and at least shoppers can see how much it's going to cost for when they return so more likely they will have the right change. I believe the machines in Bournemouth (Richmond Hill) and Bath give change. Mark1967
  • Score: 11

6:58pm Fri 16 May 14

karlmarx says...

Even a confectionary or soda drink vending machine gives the customer change (sometimes) and have done so for many decades. Are Wiltshire council that far adrift of technology?
Even a confectionary or soda drink vending machine gives the customer change (sometimes) and have done so for many decades. Are Wiltshire council that far adrift of technology? karlmarx
  • Score: 18

10:48pm Fri 16 May 14

journalist1 says...

Apparently there are machines in some towns where if you don't have the correct change you just put in what you have and the machine calculates the time. So if you don't have the correct change for two hours and you have to put in a bit more, it gives you a bit more than two hours' parking. The technology is out there.
Apparently there are machines in some towns where if you don't have the correct change you just put in what you have and the machine calculates the time. So if you don't have the correct change for two hours and you have to put in a bit more, it gives you a bit more than two hours' parking. The technology is out there. journalist1
  • Score: 7

11:24pm Fri 16 May 14

IanMcL says...

Pay on exit!
Pay on exit! IanMcL
  • Score: 12

10:06am Sat 17 May 14

gingin says...

I agree pay on exit thus allowing for a much more relaxed shopping experience. No worries about going over time for a couple of minuets and issued a penalty parking ticket by the over exuberant wardens or whatever they call themselves these days!
I agree pay on exit thus allowing for a much more relaxed shopping experience. No worries about going over time for a couple of minuets and issued a penalty parking ticket by the over exuberant wardens or whatever they call themselves these days! gingin
  • Score: 7

3:21pm Sat 17 May 14

beaser says...

Oh Salisbury wake,you are killing the town What.with Sainsbury,Asda & now Aldi,,hoping to develop here with FREE parking for their customers,
the city centre will be dead in about six years.
By treating the last few shoppers in town as cash cows,you are on the road to destruction.
Oh Salisbury wake,you are killing the town What.with Sainsbury,Asda & now Aldi,,hoping to develop here with FREE parking for their customers, the city centre will be dead in about six years. By treating the last few shoppers in town as cash cows,you are on the road to destruction. beaser
  • Score: 14

7:47pm Sat 17 May 14

Morello says...

A lot of people seem to readily see the consequences of the mistaken or bad decisions taken by this faraway council that governs us. Why then do the councillors that we elected never raise a question ?

I fear that the correspondents are correct and that the actions of Wiltshire Council are heading towards the decline of Salisbury as a tourist and shopper attraction.

Odd too that our MP and our local newspaper don't seem too bothered.
A lot of people seem to readily see the consequences of the mistaken or bad decisions taken by this faraway council that governs us. Why then do the councillors that we elected never raise a question ? I fear that the correspondents are correct and that the actions of Wiltshire Council are heading towards the decline of Salisbury as a tourist and shopper attraction. Odd too that our MP and our local newspaper don't seem too bothered. Morello
  • Score: 11

8:14pm Sat 17 May 14

Schoolmum999 says...

Wiltshire Council just consider Salisbury a cash-cow and take no notice of us local residents who are watching Salisbury's slow and painful demise. End of.

The only time I ever hear anything from our local MP, is when he has turned up for another photo op'. He never drives local agendas. Another parasite in my opinion!
Wiltshire Council just consider Salisbury a cash-cow and take no notice of us local residents who are watching Salisbury's slow and painful demise. End of. The only time I ever hear anything from our local MP, is when he has turned up for another photo op'. He never drives local agendas. Another parasite in my opinion! Schoolmum999
  • Score: 13

8:16pm Sat 17 May 14

Schoolmum999 says...

An aside; why does the Journal website 'Most Commented' section, not display the 'most commented'? Does the journal also have its own agenda?
An aside; why does the Journal website 'Most Commented' section, not display the 'most commented'? Does the journal also have its own agenda? Schoolmum999
  • Score: 15

10:29am Sun 18 May 14

gingin says...

Schoolmum999 wrote:
An aside; why does the Journal website 'Most Commented' section, not display the 'most commented'? Does the journal also have its own agenda?
My thoughts exactly!
[quote][p][bold]Schoolmum999[/bold] wrote: An aside; why does the Journal website 'Most Commented' section, not display the 'most commented'? Does the journal also have its own agenda?[/p][/quote]My thoughts exactly! gingin
  • Score: 15

3:09pm Sun 18 May 14

Aethernet says...

Central carpark was utterly rammed when I was there yesterday morning. Clearly this doesn't bother people enough to stop them filling the towns major car park to capacity.
Central carpark was utterly rammed when I was there yesterday morning. Clearly this doesn't bother people enough to stop them filling the towns major car park to capacity. Aethernet
  • Score: -5

8:11pm Mon 19 May 14

minkleberry says...

Aethernet wrote:
Central carpark was utterly rammed when I was there yesterday morning. Clearly this doesn't bother people enough to stop them filling the towns major car park to capacity.
Central car park is never rammed. Ever. I park there every day and according to the signs there are almost always in excess of 700 spaces in the central car park, and Saturday there were over 1000 at 10am. It is the main bugbear to Salisbury shopkeepers, and misinformed statements like this do not help in any way.
[quote][p][bold]Aethernet[/bold] wrote: Central carpark was utterly rammed when I was there yesterday morning. Clearly this doesn't bother people enough to stop them filling the towns major car park to capacity.[/p][/quote]Central car park is never rammed. Ever. I park there every day and according to the signs there are almost always in excess of 700 spaces in the central car park, and Saturday there were over 1000 at 10am. It is the main bugbear to Salisbury shopkeepers, and misinformed statements like this do not help in any way. minkleberry
  • Score: 7

1:48pm Wed 21 May 14

montyzoomersmum says...

pay on exit. End of. Salisbury is being left behind as usual. Outdated and old fashioned. I will not pay for parking in town so I rarely come in to town to browse and shop. I jump on my bike...i wonder how long it will be until we have to pay to park our bikes?!!!
pay on exit. End of. Salisbury is being left behind as usual. Outdated and old fashioned. I will not pay for parking in town so I rarely come in to town to browse and shop. I jump on my bike...i wonder how long it will be until we have to pay to park our bikes?!!! montyzoomersmum
  • Score: 2

3:15pm Wed 21 May 14

AuraTodd says...

I'm a keen cyclist and i wouldn't pay to park a bike. The cycle paths aren't that great in Salisbury, especially by the main post office where some motorists pull up on what is clearly marked as a cycle path and then stop to park; even when cyclists are coming up behind the vehicle!

I agree with 'Outdated and old fashioned' Salisbury is trying to be quaint, but it's also becoming stagnant like groundhog day.
I'm a keen cyclist and i wouldn't pay to park a bike. The cycle paths aren't that great in Salisbury, especially by the main post office where some motorists pull up on what is clearly marked as a cycle path and then stop to park; even when cyclists are coming up behind the vehicle! I agree with 'Outdated and old fashioned' Salisbury is trying to be quaint, but it's also becoming stagnant like groundhog day. AuraTodd
  • Score: 1

5:10pm Wed 21 May 14

Bournemouth Ohec says...

Salisbury is truly amazing in this day and age.

Name another town or city with the parking over capacity it has.

For over capacity maybe one might read under utilization.

As to exact change do what I do- carry a plastic bag of change round in the car.
Salisbury is truly amazing in this day and age. Name another town or city with the parking over capacity it has. For over capacity maybe one might read under utilization. As to exact change do what I do- carry a plastic bag of change round in the car. Bournemouth Ohec
  • Score: -1

5:46pm Wed 21 May 14

gingin says...

I can't remember the times I have posted the same thoughts about Salisbury getting left behind other towns and cities. The only way forward is to modernise and encourage residents and visitors to shop, eat or use the many coffee shops or pubs available.

Free parking on a Sunday in Culver Street car park is a start but how long is that scheme to last?

On the Wiltshire Times website cabinet member John Thomson was quoted as saying he thought with modern technology the way forward was everyone should use a smart phone to pay for parking!!!!! He reckoned it would cost too much money to swap the old fashioned machines for new pay on exit ones but by using an app on your smart phone that would save the council money.

Ok if you own that sort of phone but what about those who have no smart phone or indeed don't want one?

It has been said many times the ruling junta in Trowbridge don't have a clue about Salisbury or it's needs > it's time a southern councillor held a cabinet position and put our needs first!
I can't remember the times I have posted the same thoughts about Salisbury getting left behind other towns and cities. The only way forward is to modernise and encourage residents and visitors to shop, eat or use the many coffee shops or pubs available. Free parking on a Sunday in Culver Street car park is a start but how long is that scheme to last? On the Wiltshire Times website cabinet member John Thomson was quoted as saying he thought with modern technology the way forward was everyone should use a smart phone to pay for parking!!!!! He reckoned it would cost too much money to swap the old fashioned machines for new pay on exit ones but by using an app on your smart phone that would save the council money. Ok if you own that sort of phone but what about those who have no smart phone or indeed don't want one? It has been said many times the ruling junta in Trowbridge don't have a clue about Salisbury or it's needs > it's time a southern councillor held a cabinet position and put our needs first! gingin
  • Score: 6

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