Loughborough Echo

Have you also spotted the confused parkers?

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HAS anyone noticed the recent growth of informal, spur-of-the-moment support groups around the county?

They are small, typically from three to six people, and they congregate around the machines where you pay for parking.

I have been a participan­t observer in a few and can report that they are used to share feelings of frustratio­n and bewilderme­nt, occasional­ly tipping over into a mild anger.

They are also used for problemsol­ving, trying to answer questions such as “Will it take cash?”, “Why won’t it recognise my card?” and even “Is it working?”.

Meanwhile, the machine is laughing at these strange creatures’ incompeten­ce. One in my experience has instructio­ns written in such a small font that you almost need a magnifying glass to read them.

Eventually an expert by experience – someone who has been through it and found a way of defeating the machine – joins the group and talks sufferers through the cure.

They at last pay the charge and go back to their cars, muttering expletives under their breath.

Has anyone else come across this phenomenon?

Les Gallop

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