‘Out of order’ Central Square parking machines are hurting local business, Maghull and Lydiate Labour Action Team warns

Andy Wilson

Maghull & Lydiate Labour Action Teams say the parking machines in Central Square are causing confusion and could be resulting in a loss of vital trade for our local businesses.

Park Ward and Maghull Town Council Labour councillor John Sayers, together with Lydiate Parish Council Labour councillor Andy Wilson, say they have received numerous complaints from shoppers complaining about the parking machines in the square.

After numerous visits to the shopping centre to investigate, each time finding every machine out of order, the two councillors said shoppers are being left baffled about what to do, for fear of being hit with hefty parking fines.

Cllr Wilson said: "This situation in Central Square has been going on for a year or more now. The parking machines are more often than not out of order and you have to traipse around the whole square to find one that's operational.

"But what I'm finding now is that every machine is out of order.

"So I've been bumping into shoppers who are telling me that they don't know what to do. They are terrified of being hit with a fine for parking without a ticket. But you can't get a parking ticket in the first place because all of the machines are out of order.

"I would bet that a lot of people are being put off from even coming to the square because of this and that's just something our local shops and businesses cannot afford. They need all the business they can get and they don't need these dodgy machines putting potential customers off.

"While I fully understand the original reasoning for introducing a parking system, to free up parking spaces for customers, I'm afraid that those very customers are taking their business elsewhere because of this.

"In fact, each time I go now there has always been plenty of spaces available, which makes me think that people are being frightened off."

Cllr Sayers has already raised this issue with the square's owners and received assurances that motorists will not receive a fine if the machines are out of order.

Cllr Sayers said: "These parking ticket machines in Central Square and in the car parks around it are a bit of a joke. They are more often out of order more than not.

"Last year I contacted the square's owners to raise the issue and they took my points on board. They assured me people would not get fined when the machines are out of order.

"As Cllr Wilson says, shoppers are being put off from even coming to the square to do their shopping because they fear getting a fine for their troubles.

"As a preliminary step, we have contacted the square's owners to suggest signage on the machines advising people that they can still park when the machines are out of order without getting a fine.

"That way, most shoppers will hopefully stay and use our local businesses which are crucial to our local economy and deserve our support."