Mobile phone parking in Manchester suffers teething problems

Updated: 

Mobile phone parking in Manchester suffers teething problems

Drivers have complained to their local newspaper after mobile phone technology for cashless parking payments in the city centre led to them receiving fines.

According to the Manchester Evening News, despite attempting to pay for their parking using their mobile phones, Manchester council has fined a number of motorists.

Mike Stephens, 24, was fined after he bought a parking ticket via a text message service when parking on Bloom Street, near Manchester's city centre.

Meanwhile, Thomas Tabb, 27, said he actually had bailiffs threaten to repossess his £20,000 Chrysler after he was fined for typing the wrong registration number into his smartphone.

Mr Tabb, from Warrington in Cheshire, received his ticket on Parsonage Gardens in October last year and council officials told him that technical problems with parking wardens' hand-held devices could be the reason he was issued a ticket.

In the following months, Tabb continued to use the mobile payment method yet he managed to build up more than £100 worth of fines, despite the fact that he repeatedly attempted to contact the council to settle the matter.

Mr Tabb has been reimbursed as a "goodwill gesture" and the council has also admitted to "teething problems" in the system that was installed to off-street car parks last month.

Despite this, a handful of other drivers who have tried to pay using the 'Pay By Phone' smartphone app or by sending a text have also suffered from similar issues.

Mr Stephens told the Manchester Evening News: "I was 100 per cent sure I had made the payment correctly and this sort of thing shouldn't happen."

While Mr Tabb revealed at the time of his struggle: "It's been absolutely horrendous.

"I feel I've done nothing wrong, and was nearly left £100 out of pocket.

"I've tried to contact the council so many times but it's so hard to get hold of anyone."

A Manchester City Council spokesman told the paper: "As a result of a one-off human error, Mr Stephens was issued a parking ticket on the first day of the cashless payment system being introduced to the NCP Bloom Street Car Park.

"We have investigated the case and confirmed that his parking payment was received through the system and the fine has therefore been rescinded.

"The cashless payment system was not at fault and is working well in Manchester."