Parking frustrations at St Albans’ Westminster Lodge

FRUSTRATED motorists using car parks at Westminster Lodge in St Albans have been left to trail around trying to find a machine that works to avoid getting a ticket.

Although the first three hours parking at the two regular car parks and the new overflow car park is free, a ticket has to be placed on car windscreens and parking wardens book motorists who do not make an effort to find out if another machine elsewhere on the site is working.

The machines have individually had Out of Order signs stuck on them but there is nothing to say that none are working.

The result has been disgruntled motorists having to walk around three car parks to see if any of the machines are working.

One unhappy motorist, who did not wish to be named, said: “Surely the council could put something up to say none of the machines are working rather than people following each other around to machine after machine to see if any are working and expecting to come back to find their cars with a ticket on them.”

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Apologising on behalf of the district council, a spokesperson explained that the machine in the car park fronting the Abbey Theatre which was now closed was due to be relocated to the new temporary car park on the former depot site once power was available.

At the same time, the other two machines were out of order, one because of an electrical supply problem and the other because of an intermittent fault.

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She assured motorists that while the machines were not working, no enforcement action would be taken against drivers and a notice was due to be placed on each machine yesterday (Wednesday) informing people that they did not need a ticket while all the machines were out of order.

The spokesperson added: “As soon as one or more of the machines are working again, the signs will be updated accordingly to ensure people know when they need to obtain a ticket.”

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