West Norfolk Council chief defends ‘unwanted’ parking keypad plan

South Lynn Community Centre opens in the old St Michael's School, South Lynn. Councillors Nick Daubney (left) and David Pope opened the new centre. ENGANL00120110310173848
South Lynn Community Centre opens in the old St Michael's School, South Lynn. Councillors Nick Daubney (left) and David Pope opened the new centre. ENGANL00120110310173848
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Plans to bring parking ticket machine keypads back into use across West Norfolk aren’t needed or wanted, so you’ve been telling us.

Last month, borough council leaders revealed they intend to reinstate the technology at its car parks in Lynn and Hunstanton, almost two years after it was switched off.

And David Pope, the councillor in charge of parking, today insisted that the issues which led to the pads being switched off had been addressed.

He said the newly-installed pads had yellow lettering which he hopes will make them easier to use.

He said: “It should have been resolved.”

But the move did not go down well with readers who got in touch with the Lynn News after we reported the announcement last Friday.

Audrey Fountain, from Gaywood, said: “I just don’t understand why they’re bringing it back. We don’t need it and we don’t want it.”

John Hayes wrote on our Facebook page that the keypads were too small, too low, not clearly marked and could not be seen in the dark.

He said: “I have used machines in various parts of the country where the number has to be keyed in, but never seen such appalling design for doing this.

“Most of them have a larger, clearer keypad at almost eye level. They frequently take cards as well.

“I feel the council has gone for a cheap and poor option when there are better designed machines available.”

He also claimed council comparisons to the free 20 minute spaces, whose machines still require drivers to enter their registration numbers as “irrelevant” because they are mostly used during the day.

Another reader, Paul Nicholson, added: “Still struggling with the whole carparking concept.

“You want people to shop then make them pay to park. Why?”

But Mr Pope still hopes to reinstate the system soon and believes the main concern relates to the need to pay as well as typing in a registration number.

He claims the council has not received a single complaint about the 20 minute ticket machines and added: “I think parking is not expensive here.

“You go to other places around the country and you have to put your registration number in to park and people accept it.”

Some critics have also pointed out that the system would prevent drivers from passing tickets to other motorists if there is still a long period of time available on them when they have finished.

But Mr Pope said the measure would make the system fair for all drivers using the sites.