October 18, 2022 11.15 am This story is over 12 months old

More Lincolnshire coastal car parks to get pay machines

Visitors struggled to pay by phone

New payment machines could be installed in two of Lincolnshire coastal car parks, despite vandalism fears and some visitor difficulties with the mobile payment system.

Charges brought in to six Lincolnshire County Council owned car parks in the Coastal Country Park have made more than £100,000 since April 15.

However, a report before the authority’s Environment and Economy Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday said there had been an “overwhelming” number of complaints on the difficulties of using a pay-by-phone system.

The report was due to be considered in September, however, a number of meetings and decisions were postponed following the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the subsequent period of mourning up to her funeral.

Officers hoped to avoid installing machines “due to the secluded nature of the sites and the persistent vandalism and damage that occurs” in the area, including a recent arson attack at Huttoft cafe.

Residents’ and visitors’ feedback, however, said many struggled to use the technology, download the required app or get enough phone signal to carry out the transaction.

“Much of the feedback requested that pay machines are installed due to these problems and that phone systems were discriminatory against elderly visitors not well versed in the technology, or for those who did not own a mobile phone or other device.

“Whilst initially recommendations have been cautious against the use of payment machines, it is now apparent that without their usage a number of visitors had either left the site or had stayed without payment and run the risk of a penalty charge notice being applied.”

Machines will be initially installed at the busiest sites in Huttoft and Anderby Creek, funded using some of the profits already made.

Since charges were brought in, they have made more than £84,489 through phone income with Anderby Creek accounting for £31,303.

More than 1,014 penalties have been given out totalling more than £22,298. The majority, 905, were issued for parking without payment.

The original aim was to stop motorhome owners camping overnight or for multiple days. Since April, 25 fines have been issued for parking in a closed car park (between 10pm-6am) and 21 for having vehicles longer than the 6m limit.