Monday, September 26, 2011

All change to no change

Petersfield parking tokens

East Hampshire District Council (EHDC) has announced that it expects to earn an extra 30 pence per day when the increased car park tolls take effect on October 1.

The minimum price is set to rise from 90p to £1, in Petersfield’s largest two car parks* but the reality is that most paying car park users shove a pound coin in the slot anyway.

Waitrose shopper May Dermunny said: “I really can’t be bothered to scratch around for change and always pop a pound coin in the machine.”

Bell Hill old-timer Arthur Wrytiz chimed in: “The Waitrose car park takes small change right down to a 5p piece, but I find it takes me ages to feed a number of coins into the machine, especially when it spits half of them back out again.”

Ray Kittin, manager of EHDC’s ‘Unwanted Gold’ campaign, explained: “First of all we want to make it quite clear that we are only raising the prices to improve the parking experience for all Petersfield residents.

“We all know what it’s like to stand in the cold when an annoying old duffer is struggling with his or her small change, or some inconsiderate yummy mummy is taking the opportunity to show her precious Hermione how to feed small coins into the machine.

“From October, not only will the price of a two-hour stay rise from 90p to £1 but also only pound coins will be accepted. Actually that’s not strictly true, two pound coins will also be accepted, but no change given. And that’s in the 50 per cent of machines that are actually in working order at any given time.

“While we accept that we will not make much profit from this increase, with most people already paying a pound, the small profits we do make should pay for the new signage and adaptations to the machines by 2043.”

*The calculation of which are Petersfield’s largest car parks does not include the town itself, which is to all intents and purposes one big car park these days.


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