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'Disgusting' Vandalism Forces Parking Ticket Machine Change

March 24, 2018 8:45 AM

Dave Hodgson with Town Bridge behindBedford Borough Council is installing a cashless payment system at St Peter's Street Car Park following a string of vandalism attempts on pay and display machines.

At St Peter's Street Car Park, several attempts were made to break into the machine in February. The first attempt to break into the machine was on 2nd February, with a subsequent attempt on 4th February. Bedford Borough Council has since replaced the broken machine.

The new machine features a payment system that accepts only card and contactless payments. To assist car park users, the Council has also installed a second card payment machine in St Peter's Street Car Park.

Over the last three months, 10 attempts have been made on various Car Parks and on street Parking Pay and Display machines across the Borough. The Council has had to replace 3 machines and make repairs to a further 7 machines.

Commenting, Mayor Dave Hodgson said: "As well as maintaining our array of free parking offers, we want to make it as easy as possible for people to pay for parking where charges do apply. So I'm angry that this disgusting vandalism is costing local taxpayers money and causing people inconvenience by forcing this machine to be changed for security reasons. Meanwhile, we'll keep working with the police to prevent such crimes and bring to justice those who commit them."

Cllr Charles Royden, Portfolio Holder for Transport and Environment said: "The Council works hard in the upkeep of our Car Parks to make them user-friendly and convenient to use. This new payment system at St Peters Street Car Park is the first to adopt the cashless system."

He continues: "All other council owned Car Parks currently, offer cash, phone and card payment. Although sadly we may be forced to replace any further vandalised pay and display machines with the cashless system."