A Chesham driver criticised the Bucks Council for parking malarkey at Amersham’s Sycamore Road Carpark.

Stephen Wildman tried to park his car there on Tuesday May 10, but he was forced to give up eventually. 

After walking through the entire car park, he realised that every pay machine either had a bag over it or showed out of order on its screen.

One machine took his money but didn’t issue a ticket, he claimed.

He said: “If you didn't have any mobile phone with you then that was it - caput.

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“If you had a smart phone you could spend the time trying to download the app.

“Having previously done that myself I thought all would be ok, but it came up with an error message when trying to login and pay.

“Other people had the same problem.”

He then tried to pay his parking via the number provided on the signs, but got a message saying his vehicle was not recognised.

Mr Wildman tried again, only to receive another message asking him to text the registration number again.

 “I thought I would ring the Council to inform them of the problem at this car park. Having gone through various menus on the phone I was then placed in a queue - after 25 minutes I was still number seven and gave up!

“I'm fed up of Councillors saying they want to stimulate local trade and in turn force the consumer to pay fees to park for the first hour.

“They then compound the issue by sheer inefficiency and laziness or perhaps knowingly allowing car park machines to not work and place the whole burden onto the consumer.

 “The consumer pays your salaries via Council Tax and is also required to pay to park in order to visit the local shops.

“The Council therefore have a direct duty to provide easy and efficient car parking facilities.

“It starts and should end with having machines that work - don't transfer the burden onto the public to have to fight their way through time consuming obstacles to simply visit the local shops. 

He called for the free parking for the first hour in Amersham and Chesham to help bring consumers into shops on the High Street. 

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Steven Broadbent, Buckinghamshire Council's Cabinet Member for Transport, said:

 "We're sorry for the issues experienced and for the inconvenience this has caused.

“The machines are checked on a regular basis and we have maintenance arrangements in place.

“Where a machine is showing a technical fault, an engineer is called, and we endeavour to rectify the fault and bring the machine back online as soon as possible.

“Signs are also placed on the machines to advise of alternative ways to pay for parking.

 "With regards to free parking for the first hour at Sycamore Road Carpark, this is something we offer at some of our other car parks in the county. However, these offers are all funded by the local town or parish council. Any new schemes would also require similar funding."