Ipswich: New parking machines cause headaches for theatre visitors

New machines have been causing problems at Cox Lane car park in Ipswich. New machines have been causing problems at Cox Lane car park in Ipswich.

Paul Geater paul.geater@archant.co.uk
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
5:43 PM

A senior manager at Britain’s largest car park company has pledged to help customers come to terms with new machines installed at two of Ipswich’s busiest car parks.

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New pay and display machines have been installed at NCP’s Cox Lane and Tacket Street car parks in the town centre.

They require drivers to put in the last three digits of their car registration number – it is a bid to prevent drivers handing over partially-used tickets to other park users on their way out.

The machines are already in use at many car parks across the country, but have only now been introduced in Ipswich – and have ended up confusing drivers who have not seen them before.

Some drivers are unfamiliar with the text-style keypad they need to use to put in the number, and the Star has been contacted by people who have been unable to read the instructions during the evening when parking for the theatre.

Some theatre-goers heading to last week’s performances of Cats said they had to queue for many minutes to buy tickets, leading to fears they could be late for the show – and with Peter Pan due to start at the Regent on Friday there are fears visitors could miss the start of the show.

However head of operations for NCP Roger Ashley said he would ask staff to try to be on hand to help customers over the next few weeks.

And his staff would check on the machines to ensure the instructions were clear and were well-lit during the evening to help users.

He said: “Our customers are very important to us and if they are having difficulty with the machines we will do all we can to help them.

“These machines are quite common across the country now although I realise they can be confusing at first for people who have not used them before.”

Mr Ashley added: “We want people to come back to our car parks and for that reason we want to make sure they are as simple to understand as possible and we will do all we can to help them understand how to use them.”

26 comments

  • who wants to go into Ipswich to shop anyway...car parks are way to expensive the roads are always gridlocked and the shops are rubbish ....Colchester and Norwich are better....

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    ukmartian

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

  • I agree with these comments, its pure greed. Also I agree with the thought that if the space is paid for up front and then not all used, when that ticket is put into the machine on exit, a full refund of the time not used should be given there and then.You must also realise that IBC are in cahoots with NCP in that most of the 'free' parking spaces that used to exist are now metered. Still it all adds up to people avoiding that dreadful town called Ipswich. When the curtain finally comes down and Ipswich town centre is a retail desert, Councillors will no doubt sit with heads in their hands saying 'where did it all go wrong?'.

    Report this comment

    how'd the town do

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

  • Yet again we are getting old news reported as if it is new. These machines have been in operation in the Tacket Street car park for months now!!!!! Obviously in the run up to Xmas the Evening Star can't find any up to date topics to report on.

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    IMP

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

  • Simple answer ,, don't use NCP car parks ,, And who the hell is crazy enough to shop in Ipswich town center anyway ?

    Report this comment

    MIGUEL100

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

  • John, I think your analogy is a little flawed. It is not like reading a newspaper for free it is more akin to buying a newspaper, reading it and then giving it to a fellow passenger on the train.

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    powerspud

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

  • cannot believe I am reading this!! Now we are going to be prevented from doing a nice thing, by giving a partially used ticket to someone....what greed these car park companies have, like they don't make millions as it is, disgusting!

    Report this comment

    JustMyOpinion

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

  • This is just another case of 'Rip Off' Britain !, the parking space has been paid for !, but now they want to charge twice for it !!

    Report this comment

    freedomf

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

  • If a space has been paid for, what does it matter which car is using it? Valid tickets should be able to be handed over. Pure greed from NPC.

    Report this comment

    Ted Maul

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

  • Err don't use use NCP? As John stated, it has always been Illegal, people love a moan eh.

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    Tedbundy

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

  • I agree with IMP these machines have been in use For months. Where do the journalists from the Evening star park ? To say they have NOW been introduced in the town !!

    Report this comment

    Midi

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

  • These machines have been in place for months so shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, As for taking minutes to pay for a ticket - really? Slow news day?

    Report this comment

    swatts

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

  • As these machines have been in place for months and no one has commented, does it just mean that people who go to see Cats are a bit dim?

    Report this comment

    Angry Slipper

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

  • It's always been illegal to hand over a ticket to someone else. Have you ever wondered what the phrase "This ticket is non transferrable" means? No doubt the moaners here go to their local newsagent, read the paper and leave without paying for it. The issues in this story are: Ipswich people not being able to use a P&D machine; being unable to read the instructions at night; confusion caused about how to buy an afternoon ticket for £1

    Report this comment

    John Felton

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

  • So these machines have been designed to put a stop to one of the only remaining gestures of goodwill we show to a fellow citizen. Being handed a ticket by a kind natured person was something to appreciate. Outrageous and totally unnecessary! I hate these authorities.

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    David White

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

  • Boring As for handing over partially used tickets all pay & display tickets are non transferable but whether anybody checks the reg is debatable.Check the parking restrictions on local streets if you want an alternative.Resident parking is Mon-Sat single yellow lines & pay and displays bays are the same .Just do not park somewhere daft or dangerouse or block someone in like some disabled drivers tend to + regularly get away with it...

    Report this comment

    JC

    Thursday, December 19, 2013

  • The Spiral and the two car parks beside the Wolsey Theatre are also in private hands - and very expensive. What's the matter with Ipswich Council? I'll not come to Ipswich again having been caught in a car park: £4.40 for three hours - disgraceful. Blame NCP, Britannia Parking but also blame Ipswich Council.

    Report this comment

    braiswick

    Thursday, December 19, 2013

  • John, I think your analogy is a little flawed. It is not like reading a newspaper for free it is more akin to buying a newspaper, reading it and then giving it to a fellow passenger on the train.

    Report this comment

    powerspud

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

  • We used the £1 park after 3pm in the tacket street car park for the first time some weeks ago . There were nine of us queued up at the only machine , same as these ones mentioned here . All the other ones had out of order covers over them so nobody could get a ticket . It was raining and we were all rather annoyed . I decided to take some photos of the the out of order machines and as soon as i had done so some NCP lacky who had beeen secreted in the yellow office came scuttling out from his office to confront me about it ! He couldn't come out and help their customers in the rain who were struggling to get a ticket ! NICE !

    Report this comment

    Poppys Dad

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

  • They are dim. There is a car park off Woodbridge Road behind the Odeon building (Cobden Place IP4 2EA) much closer to the Regent! Run by IBC and named Regent Theatre... no brainer, get there a lil early to get a space. Simple. Enforcing their terms is no less of a scam than what IBC do... no change given, £1.10 etc. Who normally has 10 pence to pay for the parking ticket? Most people put in 20p or 50p as they don't have change. Many IBC car parks are now £1 etc. but Portman Road ones are not... they probably rip off half the people going. The tickets say how much you pay in... can you claim the change back from the town hall?

    Report this comment

    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

  • I feel personally, as will many others, this idea whether it be in other places or not is ludicrous! As someone has already mentioned the time has been paid for, so why not be a very nice member of the public and give your time, if not used to someone who can use it? If people now pay for the time, and they dont use it, can they claim for a refund... NO! This is absolutely not acceptable behaviour, and I for one will no longer be using this carpark, as if I pay for my time, and dont use it, I always pass it on as a gesture of good will.... Why does it seem everyone is into making £££££ over anything else!? It now will remove myself from its service, and I will try my hardest not to use anymore NCP's from now on! Shows how much gesture the NCP provide us as customers! They frankly can stick it!

    Report this comment

    Felixstowe Lady

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

  • I generally try not to use P&D car parks, but if I do have that misfortune, I'll make sure I sit in my car until the time completely elapses, regardless of whether I'm finished shopping or not cos I'm not letting Ebeneezer NCP get paid twice for the same space! Bah Humbug!

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    paul_minns

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

  • I recently had the misfortune to use the cox lane carpark as it was the closest one I knew to the regent. I found the machine easy enough to use but to ensure we had enough time for the show it cost over £5 to park! With costs like that ipswich isn't dying - it's self destructing by actively driving people away!!

    Report this comment

    MZH

    Thursday, December 19, 2013

  • Because, Mr Manning, NCP want to make more money. NCP care little for Ipswich, scrounging money from the Borough to knock down buildings NCP owns, ruining Upper Orwell Street and flouting an agreement made between them and the Council many years ago with regards to developing that part of Ipswich!

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    Mister Cynical

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

  • Having looked up the 'law' on this, yes, you have entered a contract with the car park owner that you have paid for and will use the parking space. So this is just a cynical way of extracting more money, highway robbery. This problem is sorted out by car parks where you pay for time used only. So, boycott whenever possible this type of car park, tell all of you friends to avoid them, a war of attrition perhaps when income is down the owners will think again. People power.

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    how'd the town do

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

  • what is w rong in handing a partly used ticket to someone , the time has been paid for. you would not hand a ticket over if it only had five minutes on.

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    TERENCE MANNING

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

  • Seems like a lot of effort and expenditure on new machines by NCP to clamp down on what must be a miniscule issue in terms of lost revenue.

    Report this comment

    john2012

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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