The Park and Ride

The thing about Park and Rides is that it is meant to be for people going somewhere, often in a hurry! Well, here I am at a Park and Ride waiting for my sister to arrive, so I decide to go and pay for the parking ticket.  The P&R is being done up so it takes a little bit of working out what to do.

First you, need to find somewhere to park “within the lines ” which is  is very clearly written in the instructions. The first problem is that most of the lines are missing so a drive round is necessary to find some lines baring in mind there will be a fine of £100 if there are any misdemeanours found.  

Secondly on finding a space you have 10 minutes to get your ticket and it is not at all clear whether those 10 mins start from entering the car park, to from actually parking!  Bearing in mind the £100 fine, I rush to grab my purse, check I’m in the lines, lock the car and tear along to the ticket machines.

Thirdly I now have to  decide to use a machine for my card or use the one for coins!  Well, baring in mind that my 10 mins will soon be up and remembering of course the £100 fine I decide on the card machine, rather than scrabbling around in my purse for coins.

Fourthly the next step is to remember the number on your number plate as this has to be entered in to the machine.  The problem with this is that yes I remembered it when I left the car but somewhere it got confused in my memory when reading all the instructions and in my worry to avoid the £100 fine. Fortunately the number is on my mobile and so I waste a precious minute or two finding it and entering it.  So far so good!

Fifth comes entering my credit card and number and choosing how much to pay. I’m only leaving it for the day…… But can you imagine the stress of a £100 fine over my head if I were to leave it here for 7 days? But can you believe it the machine can’t recognise my card – it surely shouldn’t be hard it is a common credit card, but to avoid running over my 10 mins I use my debit card and guess what it can’t recognise that one either! By now the £100 fine is ringing alarm bells in my ears! I snatch the card out and cancel the transaction and start fumbling in my purse for coins.  A woman in front of me who ran down to the machine from her car (obviously suffering from the 10 mins and £100 stress procedure) proceeds to tell everyone in a very loud voice exactly what she is doing very painfully and in a very long winded way!

On to number six and things are looking up, I have found the coins which have been accepted; the car reg number is still open on my mobile and best of all it is 50 pence cheaper than if I had used my card ( I hadn’t noticed that on the prolific instructions).  It may have seemed to take hours but on looking at my watch as I sped back to the car I noticed it had only taken about 10 mins and so it seems as though I have hopefully avoided the £100 fine.

Finally Park and Rides are meant to make life easier, but on the basis of what I’ve written I’ll leave that up to you to decide. For me I’m always up for a challenge!

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