Ludlow looks to be last in Shropshire for parking machines to be converted to new £1 coins – updated

Update 2 August 2017

Shropshire Council has provided an update on the conversion of parking machines.

Our supplier is currently working on the software after having some resource issues and we have a start date of the 14 August across the County. Shrewsbury and Ludlow will be the priorities.

We will be changing the stickers to reflect this on the machines. Once the machines are completed a new sticker will be placed on the machine informing about the upgrade for our customers.

Original article 4 July 2017

If I ever obtain an old one pound coin these days, I pocket it. This is not out of nostalgia but in the hope of helping a desperate visitor who finds that Shropshire Council’s parking machines don’t take the new coins here in Ludlow.

I have been trying for weeks to find out when Ludlow’s machines will be converted. I have failed to get an answer. But it looks like it will be at least the end of this month before our parking machines are converted to the new pound coins. Meanwhile, machines in Shrewsbury and elsewhere have already been converted. We look like being last.

Yesterday, Shropshire Council issued a press release giving an update on upgrading the parking machines. It notes that car park ticket machines in Shrewsbury, Bridgnorth and Much Wenlock have already been converted. But, says Shropshire Council, “we’re waiting for our supplier to convert the remaining machines.”  The council continues:

“Unfortunately, we’re not the only council in the country waiting for this work to be done and, as such, are in a queue. However, the outstanding machine conversions are expected to be completed by the end of this month (July 2017).”

Note that word “expected”. That’s well short of a guarantee.

I don’t understand the process here. The council’s supplier converts the machines in three towns but clears off before converting the rest. What sort of contract does the council have with the supplier? And what priorities did it give the contractor?

Meanwhile, if you are coming to Ludlow, please stock up with 20p and 50p coins. You get four hours here in the town centre Castle Street car park for £2.40. The Station Drive car park is the same price at the top near the Library and half the price lower down towards Tesco. You can park on Station Drive for ten hours, as you can at Smithfield, a five minute walk from the centre. At Smithfield, it is just £2 for ten hours.

These prices are a bargain. I would be very surprised if they last. Shropshire Council is going to issue a new parking strategy tomorrow.

It’s high time that Ludlow’s car parks were transferred to Ludlow Town Council. Then if there are problems like the failure to convert parking machines, it’s our own fault, not another bureaucratic failure in an increasingly remote Shirehall. Oswestry runs its own car parks. We should do the same.

2 thoughts on “Ludlow looks to be last in Shropshire for parking machines to be converted to new £1 coins – updated

  1. This is incompetence of the highest order. In Worcester all the machines were converted months ago – before the new £1 coin was launched. All councils knew this was coming – why didn’t Shropshire take action earlier?

    By the way, at least one Shrewsbury car park has not been done yet.

  2. I have to admire your persistence Andy.

    After all your years of experience with Shropshire Council’s practices you still expect to gat an answer to a question. Admirable … but as likely to happen as the Cons agreeing that continuing the public sector 1% annual pay increase will not destroy all public services … which is exactly what the Cons hope to achieve to increase profit based privatisation.

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