Drivers in a Buckinghamshire town were forced to pay extra or risk getting a fine after all the ticket machines in a car park were declared to be out of order.

Donald Westwater, 64, who has lived in Amersham for nearly 30 years, became frustrated during a visit to the town’s Sycamore Road Car Park at the beginning of this week when he and a "queue" of other residents were forced to contend with multiple faulty ticket machines.

Donald said parking problems in the town had been exacerbated in recent years due to new housing developments in the Chalfonts, bringing a number of new motorists to the area without, he believes, the necessary facilities being provided to meet rising demand.

The 64-year-old believes that both this and a complete lack of in-person ticket machines at Sycamore Road on Monday, February 12, are symptomatic of Buckinghamshire Council “dragging its feet” instead of taking proactive action to address local issues.

All three card machines and the single remaining cash one were out of order on Monday and caused confusion amongst Donald’s fellow drivers, some of whom “just walked away”, risking a penalty fine.

Relatively au-fait with technology himself, Donald phoned up the number for RingGo on the side of the ticket machine and spoke with a customer service representative to buy a ticket – shelling out an extra 25p that he could have saved had his usual method of payment been available. (RingGo’s convenience fee for tickets purchased on the app is a slightly smaller sum of 15p).

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“Some of the people who were there didn’t know what to do – one old man was on crutches trying to put coins into the cash machine, but they were just dropping straight through.

“Even for those who managed to pay on RingGo – it costs extra, and a lot of people are struggling from a fiscal point of view at the moment. It’s the council’s responsibility to be diligent about this and to help residents.”

Dominic Barnes, Buckinghamshire Council’s Deputy Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “We are sorry that the payment machines in this location weren’t operational, and we are working to get these fixed.

“We offer a range of payment options to motorists including payment via app which does come with a very small administration charge. We advise motorists to check the app settings as this ‘convenience fee’ should only be 15p.

“Unfortunately, there is no mechanism to refund this charge and we apologise for any inconvenience.”