Bad weather hits Dunstable car park system

MHBG-08-11-12 Parking machine''New solar panel powered pay and display ticket machine in London Road car park EMN-150510-132759001
MHBG-08-11-12 Parking machine''New solar panel powered pay and display ticket machine in London Road car park EMN-150510-132759001

Vandalism and bad weather has meant Central Bedfordshire Council is changing its pay-on-foot technology in Ashton Square car park in Dunstable.

The car park will now be converted back to Pay and Display machines, and the barriers and number plate cameras will be removed. The conversion will be done at no cost to the council.

Customer feedback on the original changes, constant vandalism of the barriers and bad weather making it difficult to capture vehicle registration information has meant the council is having to revert to pay and display.

The change means that, from 8 March, customers using the Ashton Square car park must buy a ticket on arrival from the pay and display machine for the time period they require. The ticket must be displayed clearly in the vehicle front windscreen or dashboard whilst parked.

On returning to their vehicle, customers will be able to simply drive out of the car park.

Hockliffe Street Car Park in Leighton Buzzard will remain as a pay and display car park by adapting the machines that the council installed in 2017 to make them into pay and display terminals by 6 March.

The payment machines in both Ashton Square and Hockliffe Street will accept credit, debit and contactless payment cards, as well as cash. Customers will also be able to use the new JustPark mobile phone payment options.

Councillor Ian Dalgarno, Executive Member for Community Services said: “The feedback from customers using the car parks has been really valuable to us since we installed the new equipment last year. It became clear that we needed to make alterations to ensure that we get the service right for our customers. We’ve listened, and we are quickly moving ahead with these changes to benefit the public who use our car parks.”

The multi-story car park in West Street, Leighton Buzzard is now fully operational as a pay-on-exit car park.