Fears over switch to cashless car parking

Car park ay Daventry Country Park
Car park ay Daventry Country Park

People without mobile phones will be prevented from parking at Daventry Country Park in future, it emerged at a council meeting last Thursday.

Daventry District Council’s strategy group was discussing switching the car park at Daventry Country Park over to a ‘cashless’ system as part of their capital expenditure plan for the coming year.

The council wants to extend the current car park to create 30 extra parking bays.

The extra car parking charges would cover some of the costs of the planning and work, but officers say more money can be saved by getting rid of the current coin-operated ticket machines.

It emerged at the meeting that the system officers are looking at relies on drivers using their mobile phones to pay for parking, similar to systems used for on-street parking in some areas of London.

Labour leader Cllr Wendy Randall said: “A lot of elderly people go down there with their grandchildren and they don’t all have mobile phones. What will happen to them? They won’t be able to park.”

The group was told a transitional arrangement would be in place during the switch over between systems.

Cllr Randall asked: “After that, if you don’t have a mobile you won’t be able to park there?” Officers replied: “Yes.”

Cllr Colin Poole, from the Conservative side, said: “I do agree with Cllr Randall, even if it doesn’t come easily. In London, if you don’t have a smart phone – like I don’t – you have to call up a number to get parking permission. I just don’t thing that this is a way forward.”

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