Increased Parking Charges to Use Waddon Leisure Centre
28/01/2016 14:59:00......Posted by Yvette Hopley
I have received an email from an extremely unhappy resident who uses the Waddon Leisure Centre. The excessive increase in parking from the present 50p for two hours to £1.20.
We are supposed to be encouraging residents to live healthy life styles by using facilities such as these. This is going to impact both the elderly on low incomes and families with children who often drive to this centre.
The resident who raised particular issues with me announced that he had been parking in the designated parking bays at Waddon for 18 months and until late December had no problems with the parking procedure which was to pay with cash at the ticket machine and then get a refund from the centre once they knew he was having a swimming session. To get the refund you presented half the parking receipt.
He stated: "From the end of December the machine has been regularly out of action to take coins, which means you should then pay by phone via “Ringo”. If you do this you are charged 70p for 2 hours rather than 50p for cash and the leisure centre ( I guess the private firm Fusion) are refusing to give a refund.
There is no mention on the board by the machine that you will be charged extra for paying by phone and of course you are also paying for an 020 no. phone charge.
It would seem that it is to Croydon’s Council advantage that the coin operated machine does not work. This machine has been out of order on a regular basis from 27/12/15 to this morning when my wife went for a swim.
From the 1st February I notice that the parking fee is going to be hiked by an incredible amount to £1.20 for 2 hours from the present fee of 50p. I believe this has been introduced in spite of an election manifesto denying any rises. I feel that this is way out of order, especially for young mothers or fathers taking their children for a swim or pensioners like myself and my wife.
To conclude on the following points:-
1) Why is there an increased charge for paying by parking for phone and this is not displayed on the machine or board especially when the Council cannot repair a machine?
2) Why are Fusion not giving refunds when the machine is out of order? You get a text on your phone immediately showing the fee has been paid which could be shown.
3) What is the reason for such an increase in parking fees? Will Fusion refund these fees?
Does Croydon Council feel that it is obligatory for you to have a mobile phone if you want to park? What if you haven’t got your phone with you or it is not charged,. What, amazing though it might seem, if you don’t actually own a phone. What is the legal position on this?
I support the residents' concerns and have taken this up with the council and the cabinet member. It really doesn't seem fair. I spoke of discrimination at the council meeting in relation to digital exclusion and this is another fine example of technology excluding residents from yet another service.