01:25AM, Wednesday 21 March 2012
Teething problems with the new parking system in Broadway multi-storey have been causing a headache for motorists.
But council bosses say they are 'pleased' with how the switchover is going and there is a 'learning curve' for drivers.
Fed-up motorists said they queued for up to 10 minutes on Saturday as people struggled to use the machines.
They slammed the system as 'seriously flawed' and 'ridiculous'.
The £120,000 pay-as-you-like system was launched by the Royal Borough two weeks ago to replace the unpopular pay-and-display.
It uses number plate recognition software to log how long customers spend in the car park.
Motorists were unimpressed after it crashed for almost three hours on the first Saturday.
Colin Bagshaw went there again at the weekend and said: "There were queues of 20 people and when I got to the machine I couldn't use it because my fingers are too big.
The 64-year-old Cookham villager added: "I have used the car park for 28 years and want to continue to do so but if they are going to keep this system we will go elsewhere."
Fellow motorist Tom Freemantle agreed saying they were the 'worst touch screens' he had ever seen.
So far the system has been used 36,000 times and the council has received 16 written complaints.
Cabinet member for parking Cllr Phill Bicknell said he was unconcerned and added: "I think we are doing remarkably well."
Officers will be on site for at least another month helping motorists use the machines and he added: "Once people get used to the system it is a doddle.
"We know that for some it will be a learning curve but are where we want to be in terms of educating people."
He said bosses were talking to system designers Parkeon to see if the sensitivity of the touchscreens could be adjusted.
He added: "It's still early days but if the queues continue we will not hesitate to put more machines in.
He said he would like to speak directly to anyone considering not using the car park and stressed: "It's a massive change but we believe it's a change for the good."
Contact RBWM on 01628 683800 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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