Motorists in Cornwall were left baffled after a number of ticket machines in car parks "disappeared" over the weekend. The incident came as the Cornwall Council began rolling out new machines that facilitate card payments in addition to cash and payments via smartphone apps.
The move has been slammed by the local councillor who claimed that he wasn't informed about the machines being installed.
James Mustoe, Cornwall councillor for Mevagissey and St Austell Bay, told CornwallLive it was "unacceptable" that neither he nor his constituents were told in advance about the machines being removed at both the Church Street and River Street short-stay car parks.
He said: "I thought it was odd but it was confirmed on Sunday that the machines have just disappeared.
"There is a roll-out currently of new machines across Cornwall which will take card payments - which is a good thing - but at no point should the car parks be left without service during that time."
He has called it "clearly unacceptable" and says he hasn't yet been told when they will be replaced despite being in contact with those responsible.
He said: "People who use these car parks in Mevagissey are primarily short-stay shopping car parks that older people use who might not have access to apps or smartphones and are reliant on cash, particularly for the doctor surgery."
At a minimum, he claimed that he should have been told so that he could have told the people living in the area that they would not be able to park until the machines were installed.
He continued: "Surely the most efficient way to have done this would have also been to have used the same people to replace the machines at the same time they took the old ones away.
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"Now you are raising two separate workforces on two separate days to take something out and put it back again.
"I'm not sure what the excuse will be yet but if there was a delay of the arrival of the new ones then they shouldn't have taken the old ones out until the new ones can be put in. It's as simple as that really."
Frustrated over the mover, users in Mevagissey, where two car parks are affected, are worried they could be fined mistakenly as a result.
While others who pay by cash and do not have a smartphone facility claimed that they were unable to use the car parks.
They stated that one of these car parks is used regularly for visiting the doctor's surgery and by elderly shoppers.
One person told Cornwall Live: "I know several people who use the car park to use shops and doctors who don't even have mobile phones"
Another user told the website that it was "clear discrimination" against people without smartphones.2023-03-14T20:37:02Z dg43tfdfdgfd