Clean swipe in north Norfolk car parks

New ticket machines are planned for the busiest car parks across north Norfolk to make things easier for drivers and cut down on coin thefts.Half the district's 44 machines are be removed and replaced by new ones, possibly also offering swipe card cashless parking this autumn, if the project gets approved.

New ticket machines are planned for the busiest car parks across north Norfolk to make things easier for drivers and cut down on coin thefts.

Half the district's 44 machines are be removed and replaced by new ones, possibly also offering swipe card cashless parking this autumn, if the project gets approved.

They would be in Cromer, Sheringham, Mundesley, Holt and Wells but not the biggest towns of North Walsham or Fakenham, nor the more rural car parks which have also been targeted by thieves.

And, hard on the heels of mocking national headlines and television coverage about a low-level machine off Sheringham seafront, the new ticketing gadgets would be disabled-friendly.


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A 3ft tall machine on the Chequers car park drew criticism after people had to get on their hands and needs to put money in the slot 18in above the ground. But it is among those due to be replaced under the planned refit.

North Norfolk District Council cabinet will on Tuesday be asked to back spending plans which would be �92,000 for basic machines and lighting, or �135,000 if they choose chip and pin ones enabling debit and credit card use.

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A report says the current machines, installed over the past 20 years, need replacing because of poor security and anti-theft measures, the cost of regular repair and maintenance, limited storage space for coins, and the inability to provide management information.

Thefts from 14 machines took place between September and October last year, from car parks at Cromer, East Runton, Happisburgh, Holt, Mundesley, Overstrand, Sheringham, Stalham and Wells.

The council spends about �15,000 a year on repairs to machines following, theft, vandalism and breakdowns, and it was hoped upgrades would reduce that figure.

The budget could not replace all 44 machines in 30 car parks so it was decided to concentrate on the well-used ones mainly in the seaside towns. Half the new 22 would have mains power, half solar.

Car parks manager Keith Johnson said the machines provided a major source of income for the council, but needed improving to provide better security, and better management - including checking car park usage, machine faults, ticket supplies, and centrally updating new fees.

The new machines, which are like those at Felbrigg Hall, had a lower slot which was convenient for able bodied and wheelchair users.

Earlier thoughts of asking people to punch in their registration numbers to prevent partly-used tickets being given to other drivers, were being dropped because the extra gadgetry would cost more and there were no real savings.

Car parks at North Walsham and Fakenham were not included because they were not well used since the opening of nearby free supermarket parking, said Mr Johnson.

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