Motorists suffer from charges

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After reading last week’s headlines about increased parking charges, I would like to raise another issue.

A while ago, I visited Tynemouth and needed to park for around two hours. Unfortunately, my pocket change was just short of the required amount.

Undeterred, I proceeded to empty my pockets into the machine – after all, I’d still be good for around one hour 50 minutes, right? Wrong.

The meter proceeded to dispense a ticket for one hour despite swallowing payment for almost twice that time.

There was no notice indicating this rule and I was certainly not going to pay again for my extra hour (and even if I did, would have to return to my vehicle to do so) and hence was forced to cut short my visit.

These machines can no doubt be configured to calculate the parking time based on the amount paid above a minimum time – just as they do in Newcastle city centre, for example. So not only are the council increasing their charges, they are, and have been for a significant period, cunningly skimming extra payments from unsuspecting motorists who fail to pay the exact multiple of the hourly charge.

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