Ticket machine queues put driver over time limit at Broadmarsh centre
MORE signs will be put up at city council car parks to let people know where ticket machines are.
The news comes after the council apologised and refunded a man who said he was forced to pay more because the queue for the machines was so long.
Frank Hughes parked in the Broadmarsh car park on Tuesday and returned within the four-hour limit.
He said, however, that he was stung for an extra £3 because of long queues.
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"Due to the size of the queue at the ticket machines, I was penalised with a further three-hour charge," he said.
"I realise that this is a busy time of year but I really do not understand why there are not more than two machines at the bridge from the shopping centre."
The car park has five ticket machines but the council has admitted signs need to be improved to explain this.
When Mr Hughes wrote to the council to complain, he was told a refund was not possible.
A council officer said: "We do have a total of five pay machines in the car park, as well as an attendant who is there 24/7 and has the discretion to charge the lower amount if they believe you have been waiting to pay since under the four-hour limit.
"It would not be viable for us to put in additional machines for the few weeks of the year that we have a large number of Christmas shoppers in the car park.
"As we have a number of alternative ways of paying for parking in addition to the two machines you queued for, we will not be refunding the difference between the £6.20 for up to four hours parking and £9.00 for up to six hours."
But after the council was contacted by the Post, Mr Hughes, of Melbourne, Derbyshire, was promised a refund.
A spokesman said: "We will refund Mr Hughes. Clearly, customers do need to take into account that it is a busy time of year and it's likely that queues will form at ticket machines.
"However, we acknowledge that signage at Broadmarsh could be improved and we have a review planned for the New Year to do just that. In the meantime, we will install temporary signs alerting customers to other machines."
The Broadmarsh has two ticket machines near the bridge into the shopping centre, one in the bus station, one outside the customer services office near the entrance and another near the exit.
Driver Sophie Noon, 24, of the Arboretum, said: "I have driven into town a bunch of times this month to get all my Christmas shopping done and I think the signs are a great idea.
"I had to wait for 15 minutes due to the long queue to get my ticket at Broadmarsh car park last week and also ended up having to pay more. "
Have you experienced long queues at city car parks this Christmas? E-mail email@example.com