Keeping our change is legalised extortion

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WE put a man on the moon more than 40 years ago, but you still can’t get change from a pay and display parking meter.

Imagine if you went into a shop and an item was priced at £1.40 and all you had was a £2 coin, then they’d take that off you and you’d get nothing back.

You’d be outraged, wouldn’t you? Yet that is what happens every day in car parks in Grantham (they are ok in Bourne as it is free parking there, have I mentioned that before?)

A survey has revealed that the nation’s motorists overpay an astonishing £2.4bn a year.

Why is that so many meters don’t give change? Surely it wouldn’t have anything to do with it being a nice little earner for councils up and down the country who run the methods of legalised extortion we call car parks?

Is it the same at the hospital? Tell me please, or do their machines give change?

I contacted SKDC and asked how much do they make ‘ripping off’ their customers?

Mike Smith (Team Leader - Operations) has come back to me today and he writes ‘Unfortunately, I am unable to provide you with this information as we are unable to collect it. This is due to the fact that the car park ticket machines and associated computer software is not capable of determining how much of the income in each machine can be identified as an overpayment.’

But plenty of other authorities have managed to work it out when asked under the Freedom of Information Act.

How much have you overpaid in Grantham because you don’t have the right change but need to park?

By my reckoning we are entitled to a year’s parking in Grantham - not ‘free’ at all, but paid for by overpayments. Maybe a year’s free parking would kick start the Grantham economy? Worth a try isn’t it?

by Steve Cattell