Westport Lake parking refund after criminals tampered with ATMs

A council reimburses motorists who paid to park at a beauty spot in Stoke-on-Trent – after criminals tampered with ticket machines.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council will impose payment and posting fees in Westport Lake starting January 10.

But mass confusion ensued when ATMs were already operational at the site on New Years Day.

For the latest news from Stoke-on-Trent City Council

While some drivers have tried their luck, others have paid a ticket to avoid a £ 70 fine.

Now the board has apologized after the machine covers were mistakenly removed.

As a result, anyone who can prove that they have purchased a ticket will be reimbursed.

Council chief Abi Brown said: “We have made it clear that parking charges will start at Westport Lake from January 10. This remains the case.

“The contractors tested the two machines that were set up in the parking lot. The machines were ‘powered up’ but covered while this was carried out as part of the normal procedures for checking the operation of the equipment.

“Unfortunately, we know that on three occasions the covers were removed from the machines.

“It wasn’t done by anyone on the board or by the contractors; unfortunately, this appears to have been done to cause damage.

Simon Vincent paid to park at Westport Lake

“Workers replaced the blankets each time, the most recent being Tuesday, when they discovered that one of the blankets had been torn again.

“This mischief caused problems for visitors to Westport Lake in the mild weather last weekend.

“We would like to apologize to any motorist caught in this case who has paid a ticket.

“We have set up a dedicated email address for anyone who has purchased a ticket. They can email [email protected] and attach a photo of the ticket or proof of purchase, and they will be refunded. “

The council also asks anyone who has witnessed the tampering of the machines to get in touch.

Abi added, “Anyone with information on this is welcome to contact us on the same email address.

“This matter is taken very seriously and we are investigating. The machines are once again covered and teams are visiting the site every day.

“We have installed A-board signs to remind visitors that the fees will not be introduced until January 10.”

The note left by Councilor Jane Ashworth

The new charges are £ 1 for up to one hour; £ 1.50 for three hours; and £ 3 for 24 hours.

Councilor Jane Ashworth, who represents the central district of Burslem, had left notices on the site warning people of the problem.

She wrote: “Somehow these machines started working too early.

“Despite protests against their introduction, car parking fees are expected to begin at Westport Lake on January 10.

“I suggest you pay today – so you don’t get a ticket – but keep the receipt and ask for a refund.”

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