Driv­ers vent anger over prob­lem park­ing me­ters

The Oban Times - - Front Page - LOUISE GLEN lglen@oban­times.co.uk

FRUSTRATED mo­torists in Oban are vent­ing their anger on staff in some of the town’s busi­nesses when they can­not find change for the park­ing me­ters.

At the mo­ment some park­ing me­ters only take old £1 coins, which are be­ing with­drawn from cir­cu­la­tion.

Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil has said me­ters ac­cept­ing the new £1 coins will be in­stalled by the end of Oc­to­ber.

In one Es­planade ho­tel, the man­ager said he had to call the po­lice af­ter abu­sive be­hav­iour from tourists to re­cep­tion staff.

The man­ager, who can­not be named for le­gal rea­sons, said: ‘A guy came into the ho­tel think­ing that it was our ma­chine and asked for change.

‘We sim­ply do not have that much change and we are un­able to pro­vide it. We get peo­ple in all the time. We only get so much change.

‘The guy then started speak­ing to staff in a man­ner that was sim­ply un­ac­cept­able.

‘I put them out of the ho­tel and in­formed the po­lice, who I later saw speak­ing to the man and giv­ing him a cau­tion. We are happy to help with change – but only if the coun­cil can give us some to ex­change. There are hardly any old pound coins in cir­cu­la­tion and this prob­lem is only go­ing to get worse.’

An­other man, Jim Bail­lie, con­tacted The Oban Times to say he was con­cerned af­ter re­ceiv­ing a park­ing ticket while he went to search for change.

Mr Bail­lie, from Greenock, said: ‘I was away for less than five min­utes and I man­aged to get a park­ing ticket on my car.

‘I didn’t have the cor­rect change.’

An­other frustrated driver put a no­tice on a park­ing me­ter that stated: ‘This park­ing me­ter only ac­cepts the old £1 and 20 pence pieces, shillings and far­things.

‘It will ac­cept 50 pence coins if they are not the shiny ones. If they are shiny, then for­get it.

‘Also you can for­get the new (but have been out for 10 years plus) 10 and five pence coins.

‘ We to­tally ex­pect you to have these of course, or magic them out of thin air.’

A spokes­woman for Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil con­firmed: ‘Many me­ters have been re­placed and the re­main­der will be re­placed or up­graded in time for the old coins go­ing out of cir­cu­la­tion in Oc­to­ber.’

Be­tween April 1 and June 30, the coun­cil raised £113,598 from park­ing on- and off-street in Oban. Plans to ex­tend the park­ing in Oban are cur­rently un­der con­sul­ta­tion un­til Au­gust 18. A con­sul­ta­tion on park­ing charges has been an­nounced by the lo­cal author­ity and, while changes are caus­ing con­cerns to work­ers on so­cial me­dia, only a small num­ber have ac­tu­ally con­tacted the lo­cal author­ity to give their views. For more on this visit www.oban­times.co.uk

The no­tice on an Oban me­ter.

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