Michelle Morgan: Changes not the ticket

Parking signs in Buckingham.'080806M-D067
Parking signs in Buckingham.'080806M-D067

I went into town the other day, only to discover the car park has changed its ticket rules.

Instead of picking up a ticket on the way in, and paying on the way out, you now have to park up; go to the booth; type in your registration number; pay the fee for however long you wish to stay; then finally take a ticket.

I put my registration number into my phone before heading to the ticket machine, but sadly the woman in front of the long queue did not have the foresight to do such a thing.

When faced with the prospect of putting her number in, she promptly turned round and screeched, “But I don’t know my registration number!

“Does anyone here know my registration number?”

Since none of us had ever met the woman in our lives, we all shook our heads.

Finally she turned back, typed in a number and said, “That’ll do!” and then waved her newly printed ticket in front of us.

Next it was the turn of a man who had no idea how long he was going to be in the car park and was frantically trying to time everything he had to do, just so that he could get his car park ticket.

I must say I sympathised with him, since I had no idea how long it would take me either.

Finally he worked it out, and was on his way.

Next it was my turn. Armed with my registration number and a general idea of how long I’d be, I punched my number into the machine and hoped for the best.

Sadly though, the machine was programmed not to give out change, which meant that a ticket that should have cost me 70p, actually ended up costing £1.

This didn’t exactly please me – or the lady next to me who had the same experience – and I couldn’t help but wonder...

If all this new technology is so great, then why does it have to be so darn stressful?