Councillor Calls on Council to Introduce Card Payments in Council Owned Car Parks
Written by Gavin on 17th October 2022
The local Councillor for the Pontypridd Town Ward, Dawn Wood is calling on RCT Council to upgrade machines in Council owned car parks that require payment so that they accept card payments. This follows the purchase of St Catherine’s Street Car Park in Pontypridd by the Council, and the removal of the option to pay by card.
At a time when more and more people are opting not to carry cash and pay by card, she has called the move archaic as well as warned that it could prove detrimental to businesses if visitors to the town are not able to park if they arrive without coins.
She has launched a petition, calling on RCT Council to join the 21st Century by upgrading the machines – something which has been supported by local businesses as well as people that work in the town.
Councillor Wood said:
“It’s about time that RCT Council joins the 21st Century, and enables visitors arriving by car into Pontypridd to pay by card.
“All of us were encouraged and asked to pay for items by card during the pandemic, and as a result many people no longer carry cash with them.
“Whilst other authorities are introducing the option to pay by card, RCT Council is actively pursuing a cash only approach.
“Our Town Centres need every help they can get, and this is proving a barrier to people arriving into our town staying and doing their shopping. That’s why I have launched a petition, calling on RCT Council to upgrade their machines as a matter of urgency.”
Her calls have also supported by South Wales Central MS and Pontypridd Town Councillor, Heledd Fychan.
In response to the petition, a spokesperson for Rhondda Cynon Taf Council said:
“The Council currently has very competitive, low charges for using its car parks in Pontypridd and Aberdare – while parking is also free from 3pm on weekdays, after 10am on Saturdays and all day on Sundays.
“However, an unfortunate consequence of having such low charges is that the introduction of card payments would be problematic due to the high processing fees of Payment Service Providers and Merchant Banks. This is why, where card payment facilities are offered elsewhere, the parking charges are often considerably higher than our Council car parks.
“Introducing card payments would, as a necessity, almost certainly result in the costs being unfairly passed on to car park users – which the Council views as unacceptable as it aims to keep parking charges low and help boost our town centre economies.
“Nevertheless, the possibility of offering alternative payment methods will continue to be investigated in the hope that a cost-effective solution can be found. Our Parking Services team has explained this position to the Councillor for Pontypridd Town in recent correspondence.”