Nicholsons car park barrier system still 'hit and miss'

Grace Witherden

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Grace Witherden

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Nicholsons car park barrier system still 'hit and miss'

Frustrated users of the Nicholsons car park’s payment system have described it as ‘hit and miss’ with problems still occurring two months after it was installed.

Anne Miles has had consistent problems with the parking system at the Nicholsons Centre multi-storey
The new system, which cost the Royal Borough £240,000, has had a rocky start since it was installed in the town centre multi-storey at the beginning of March.

Anne Miles, a secretary at accountancy firm Hale and Co, uses the car park to go to the gym in the evenings but says she is going to stop because of problems with the automatic number plate recognition (ANPR).  

She said: “Car recognition in this car park is an absolute nightmare.

“On Monday, May 2, it let me in the car park but would not let me out, so I had to call someone for help.

“On Tuesday, I had to accept a token to get in, as it did not recognise my car, but on the way out the barriers lifted.

“I will not be using this car park again, along with probably half of Maidenhead.”

The new system, made by Scheidt and Bachmann, uses chip coins and ANPR which replaced the old ParkReg system.  

After Anne complained to the Royal Borough, she received an email from Neil Walter, the borough’s parking principal, which said, in an attempt to cause as ‘little disruption’ to users as possible, the old and new systems were being used ‘side by side in an attempt to capture as many vehicle registrations as possible’.

Richard Evans, another gym goer who uses the car park, said: “I’m one of those that has to suffer the hit and miss of whether I’ll get in or out.

“Sometimes I get in; sometimes need a coin ... sometimes it won’t even let me out.

“So annoying, as the convenience of ‘park and go’ really isn’t there anymore.”

Cllr Colin Rayner, cabinet member for highways and transport, confirmed both systems were being used.

He said: “We thought we would be able to transfer the data from the old system onto the new one but we can’t, because of the Data Protection Act, so we’re using both systems so we can manually swap over the data.

“This has taken longer than I initially thought, and if I had been made aware of this from the beginning, I might have made a different decision.”

He added: “We apologise profusely and if anyone is still experiencing problems they should email myself or the parking team.

“The good thing is that recently the car park has been at almost full capacity.”

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