A warm and sunny October weather brought hundreds of people to the Penarth’s Cardiff Bay Barrage parking ground yesterday – only to experience chaos when they attempted to buy parking tickets.
Queues built up as people struggled to persuade the machines to take their coins. It proved impossible to get the machines to accept new 12-sided £1 coins – and even the old round £1 coins wouldn’t work – [They’re no longer legal tender after 23:59 on Sunday October 15th]
The finicky machines repeatedly rejected both the old and the new £1 coins and refused to print tickets for the lines of waiting motorists.
Adding to the confusion were the impossibly prolix and confusing instructions. The machines instructed people to choose the language in which they wanted to complete the transaction from 4 different options.
The first choice is Welsh – English is choice number 4 . Motorists speculated the middle two were probably Arabic and Somali.
The machines also urge people to pay for their parking tickets by texting a mobile phone number – but by this point many drivers decided give up trying to pay for tickets altogether and opted to take a risk on getting a £25 penalty fine for not having a ticket.
As there seemed to be no attendant at the car park, those who opted not to pay all got away with it – saving themselves £1.50 an hour – and a lot of unnecessary hassle.
Other motorists congregated around the one machine that still seemed to be working and found it took at least three minutes for each transaction to be completed .
Every single space in the Cardiff Bay Barrage parking ground was taken yesterday. The facility is operated by the Labour-controlled Cardiff Council.