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Solution to car park problem near

PUBLISHED: 20:21 10 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:51 03 March 2010

MOTORISTS using a popular car park in central Ipswich are still being caught out over pay and display machines - but there's a sunny solution on the horizon!

Officials admit that some people are still being fined for buying their ticket from the wrong machine at the Cox Lane and Upper Barclay Street site, 18 months after the Evening Star highlighted the problem.

MOTORISTS using a popular car park in central Ipswich are still being caught out over pay and display machines – but there's a sunny solution on the horizon!

Officials admit that some people are still being fined for buying their ticket from the wrong machine at the Cox Lane and Upper Barclay Street site, 18 months after the Evening Star highlighted the problem.

But from next week the borough council will have two new ticket machines operating in its section of the car park and the machines will be solar powered.

Officers are confident the siting of the machines along with highly-conspicuous signs should ensure motorists buy the council's tickets and stop them buying an NCP one by mistake.

But motorist Michael Cullen, the latest mix-up victim, will have to wait and see if his fine is revoked.

Mr Cullen, of Ipswich Road, Woodbridge, said: "I don't know Ipswich very well and hadn't been there for donkey's years as I have been living in London.

"I parked and quickly went to the nearest ticket machine which was about ten yards away. I paid £2 for a ticket which ran from 3.51pm to 5.51pm and placed it on my windscreen and went off to look round the shops.

"When I got back about 5.30pm I was shocked and amazed to find a £20 parking ticket on my car – and it had been put there at about 5pm when I still had nearly and hour of my ticket to run.

"I rang up to complain and I understand from the council staff that it has become an increasing problem."

The car park at the rear of the Ipswich and Norwich Co-op in Carr Street is divided into two separate parking areas – one run by NCP and the other managed by Ipswich Borough Council.

Mr Cullen, a musician, parked in the council area but bought an NCP ticket. He did not see any signs telling him they were separate car parks.

"I think to fine me when I had bought a ticket is totally unjust. They should sort out the boundaries so that people know there is a difference between the two parking areas," he added.

A council spokesman said the solar-powered ticket machines would be operational from next week and along with signs should solve the problem.

"We are aware that there are a few people who do get confused but the new ticket machines will be much closer to where vehicles park in the council car park," he said.

"We believe the machines, along with the conspicuous signs, should stop people wandering off into the other car park."

n What do you think – is the difference between the two car parks clear or not? Write to Evening Star Letters, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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