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Parking rip - off
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Are you happy with the charging system in MSCP's?
Yes
36%
 36%  [ 4 ]
No
63%
 63%  [ 7 ]
Total Votes : 11

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Tom59
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Joined: Aug 05, 2006
Posts: 407
Location: Alconbury - UK

PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 9:47 am    Post subject: Parking rip - off Reply with quote

I went into town yesterday. I parked in one of the MSCP's near where I wanted to be. From the time that I took the ticket at the entrance, found somewhere to park, went to the bank and came back to pay for my ticket, I took a total of 16 minutes.
The machine charged me for a full hour at 1.80.

If there is anyone from local government, trading standards or NCP reading this, is it not now time to implement a fair usage policy?

I understand that times are hard, but why can you not charge for actual time used? Are you saying that I could have used the whole hour? If I buy 10 litres of petrol, they do not charge me for 50, because my tank could take it.

Some car park operator will turn round and say "Ah, but it would not be possible to programme the machines to work like that", - sorry, but it is. The machine is clever enough to work out exactly how long I have been parked, it is clever enough to multiply two numbers together (time and price), it is also clever enough to bill my credit or debit card with any amount that it likes. If prices have to be rounded up because the machine cannot accept certain coins, round it up to the nearest 10p not the nearest 2.00!

This criminal activity has to stop. Why should they be allowed to run uncontrolled, with the blessing of the local councils?
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Darren
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Joined: 11/07/2002 14:36:40
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Location: Hampshire, UK

PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are there no short stay car parks? I wouldn't normally consider a Multi-Storey if there was an alternative for a short stay.

In my locality we have free spaces in all council run car parks for <15min visits. These cannot be used for longer stays. The rates for which also start in 1hr increments.
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alix776
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1.80 thats nothing i regularly have to pay anything up to 25 to park up when ive run out of legal hrs to drive at motorwya services
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Tom59
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Joined: Aug 05, 2006
Posts: 407
Location: Alconbury - UK

PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darren wrote:
Are there no short stay car parks? I wouldn't normally consider a Multi-Storey if there was an alternative for a short stay.

I would agree, but the area I went to consists of two shopping centres joined together along with a pedestrianised market area. There are some on street bays outside the area, but on a Saturday, you have a better chance on the lottery!
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BigPerk
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Joined: Sep 06, 2006
Posts: 1618
Location: East Hertfordshire

PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there a rebate system in operation in that area of Cambridge? In our area the ticket has a counterfoil which can be exchanged in stores participating in the scheme. I agree Cambridge is a pain - it's almost impossible even to park a bike there!
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Tom59
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Joined: Aug 05, 2006
Posts: 407
Location: Alconbury - UK

PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BigPerk wrote:
Is there a rebate system in operation in that area of Cambridge?
There is a leisure / shopping complex away from the city centre that does have a discount system, but the main shopping centres have no such system.

The point that I am trying to make, is not finding alternative parking or finding discounts, but that the car park operators simply charge a fair amount for time used. If I stay for 6 hours, I pay for 6 hours, if I stay for 20 minutes, I pay for 20 minutes.
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BigPerk
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom59, I appreciate that was your main concern, but I just wondered about a practical alternative.

I have to say I have never seen any system in this country with the discrimination you are looking for. The nearest I know of is in London where I think the unit charge on meters is for a period of 15 minutes. I guess part of the reason might be to provide a guaranteed turnover of parking spaces - if people could park for indeterminate periods that might be more difficult.
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Tom59
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Joined: Aug 05, 2006
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Location: Alconbury - UK

PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2009 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BigPerk wrote:
I have to say I have never seen any system in this country with the discrimination you are looking for.
This is exactly my point! We all just accept that we can be overcharged and it is OK. Well no. It is now time to put proper, fair controls in place.
Are there any car park operators or local council officials reading this who would like to comment?
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Tom59
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Location: Alconbury - UK

PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

alix776 wrote:
1.80 thats nothing i regularly have to pay anything up to 25 to park up when ive run out of legal hrs to drive at motorwya services


It is widely accepted that motorway service areas are more expensive than a similar service elsewhere. They are taking the view, similar to the car park operators, "If you don't like it, go somewhere else".
A truck driver who has gone over his time has no option, but to pay. If a truck parks up for 8 hours at 3.00 per hour, I can see where it would amount to around 25 for a stay.
The difference between the truck driver and the guy popping into the bank is that the truck drivers company will have costed this expense into their quote for hauling whatever it is and they will be submitting the receipt for a VAT refund, so he in effect gets free parking.
The guy going to the bank pays for four times the amount necessary and has no way of reclaiming any of it.
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Darren
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom59 wrote:
The difference between the truck driver and the guy popping into the bank is that the truck drivers company will have costed this expense into their quote for hauling whatever it is and they will be submitting the receipt for a VAT refund, so he in effect gets free parking.

Huh, how do you work that out? It isn't free, at most they get the VAT element back?

Surely the point here is you have as much choice as anyone else. if you think parking is too expensive go elsewhere?
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MaFt
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Joined: Aug 31, 2005
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Location: Bradford, West Yorkshire

PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i see where you're coming from but it's still cheaper than getting a bus!!

the 4.3 mile journey to town is 2.30 each way (4.60) by bus!! or for that i could drive, be 3 times faster travelling time and get 3 hours parking at 1.50/hr...

yes, it's a rip off but until public transport becomes actually good value then i'm happy to pay to park!

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DennisN
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Joined: Feb 27, 2006
Posts: 14864
Location: Keynsham

PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try my solution.

As an OAP, I have a free bus pass, which includes our local Park & Ride service. So I can go park free in there and catch the bus free into town.

Thank you all you lovely people who are paying for my bus ride.

PS - I've only ever done it once, because it's a lot more convenient to go park in the Multi Storey at The Galleries in Bristol where the parking is both secure and quite reasonably priced to shoppers, as opposed to the huge prices for workers in the other multi storey parks.
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Tom59
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Location: Alconbury - UK

PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darren wrote:
Huh, how do you work that out?
Possibly "free" is the wrong word. The trucker has already costed this expense into his quote, he would be foolish if he didn't. Therefore his customer or client is paying the parking charge. Similarly, the cost of fuel, wages, administration are all accounted for in that price and are being paid for by the customer.
This means that people such as you or I, who do not drive a truck will be paying for these charges, because the client is going to want to pass them on to his customer.

Darren wrote:
Surely the point here is you have as much choice as anyone else. if you think parking is too expensive go elsewhere?
I don't see how the trucker on the motorway has any other option? If he has driven his quota of hours, he must park up whether he feels like it or not.
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Darren
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom59 wrote:
I don't see how the trucker on the motorway has any other option? If he has driven his quota of hours, he must park up whether he feels like it or not.

In some cases true but that isn't the issue raised by you here? You have a choice. The owners of the car parks will set their prices at a level that maximised profit balanced by the risk of losing customers. Until such time as customers vote with their wallets and park elsewhere nowt will change and why should it, they're not a charity and you're not forced to park there.
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Tom59
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darren wrote:
In some cases true but that isn't the issue raised by you here?
You are right, I do not have a problem with the charges as set, as long as they are applied fairly.

Darren wrote:
The owners of the car parks will set their prices at a level that maximised profit balanced by the risk of losing customers.
This is the basis of the business plan that will have been presented to the shareholders. They will have decided on a profit margin before one single car has entered the car park. The plan will be based along the lines of number of spaces multiplied by amount of time open multiplied by cost of time, they will then subtract admin costs (which are already subsidised by local councils or shopping centre owners). The amount of difference is the profit which was declared at the beginning of their financial year. I do not have a problem with any of this, it is business and they are in business to make a profit.

It is the blatant profiteering and sharp practises that I believe is completely wrong and should be stamped out.

If a car parking space is occupied three times in one hour and the full price has been charged for that hour, then they have just acquired 66% profit, out of our pockets, for no extra effort. In a 1000 space car park, this could happen 50 times in a day or possibly up to 250 / 300 times in a week. Suddenly the predicted profit is going to take a steep rise. This makes the operator a good businessman? I think not.

It is possible to run a good profitable business without stealing more from your customers.
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