Towns' car park meters delayed

The installation of new car park meters at Wymondham and Diss has been delayed after concerns raised by disability charity Mobilise and residents in Loddon, where they have already been introduced.

The installation of new car park meters at Wymondham and Diss has been delayed after concerns raised by disability charity Mobilise and residents in Loddon, where they have already been introduced.

The machines require a car registration to be entered on a small keypad with each button standing for a number and several letters. But this caused difficulties for some elderly people and those with dexterity problems who tried to use them at Loddon.

Mobilise has warned South Norfolk Council that it risks making car parks unusable for disabled people. But the council has told the charity the number plate has to be logged to ensure people do not abuse the 'free hour” system.

Mobilise claims this is irritating local shopkeepers at Loddon who claim the recent abolition of free parking in the town has already affected their businesses, and are now being called out to the car park to assist distressed customers who cannot use the machines.


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The charity's manager, Melanie Ruse, said: “Although advances in technology have enabled many more disabled people to drive and maintain their independence than in the past, the application of new technology in car parks and petrol stations can lock people out if their needs are not considered.”

Council leader, John Fuller, agreed there have been problems at Loddon which the authority is trying to resolve.

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“Things haven't gone as smoothly as we would have liked, and we are working on it at the moment with the business people and parish council in Loddon,” he explained.

“The machines are okay and are used across the country. It's just the settings that have come from the factory, and we are working through it in a business-like manner.”

Mr Fuller said the planned introduction this month of new metres at Diss and Wymondham is likely to be delayed by a couple of weeks.

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