NCP vows new machines at Ipswich Train Station car park after weeks of card issues

NCP has said number plate recognition machines will be installed at the Ipswich Train Station car pa

NCP has said number plate recognition machines will be installed at the Ipswich Train Station car park. Picture: JASON NOBLE - Credit: Archant

Commuters from Ipswich Train Station have voiced their frustration of the multi-storey car park after it has emerged the machines do not accept cards, new one-pound coins or new five-pound notes.

The station’s multi-storey car park is operated and run by NCP on behalf of Greater Anglia, but regular uses of the car park have said that the machines not accepting those forms of payment has been an issue for months.

Sheila Caryer, 70, from Grundisburgh, said: “There is a lot of very confused, upset people and if you go there late at night people realise you cannot pay by card or new coins.

“I normally have parking money in my car but you expect to be able to pay by car nowadays.

“I am extremely upset and annoyed – when you have so many problems on the trains already it drives you mad.”

Mrs Caryer said an incident last week where her car failed to start delayed her from leaving the car park for 30 minutes, and left her ending up having to pay a day rate of £6.10 for the additional time.

NCP has said it is aware of the issue with the machines, and are due to be replaced.

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Mark Kraft, NCP contract manager said: “Ipswich station multi-storey is the only one [of the train station car parks NCP manages for Greater Anglia] that has a barrier.

“We know the machines are coming to the end of their life but unfortunately with the advancement of PCI compliance [measures needed for companies which offer card payment] there was an issue with the credit card server serving those two machines, so we had to turn them off at very short notice.”

In the short term two dedicated members of staff are on site at peak times.

The station is also a priority for getting automatic number plate recognition which means new machines will be installed which speed up paying for parking.

Mr Kraft added: “Ipswich is at the top of the list for automatic number plate machines, but it is normally a 12-24 week waiting time as they have to be built.”

The orders have been placed, although it is not yet clear what date the machines will be installed.

Mr Kraft said that in the meantime there had been 16 signs put up around the car park, and motorists were able to call the 24-hour payment line in the case of any problems.