Parking machines: does time delivered correspond with coins paid?

David Johnson made this Freedom of Information request to Carlisle City Council

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The request was successful.

Dear Carlisle City Council,

I'm trying to find out if you provide goods/services that correspond to the money you're given. I'm particularly concerned about parking machines. For example, if parking time is sold at 80 pence per hour and the buyer only has a £1 coin, then a fair trader either gives 20 pence change or provides an additional 20 pence-worth of time by pro-rating. A trader that keeps £1 and only delivers 80 pence worth of time is delivering a lesser quantity of
goods/services than corresponds with the price charged.

Pro-rating of goods/services is a popular method of trading that has been provided by machine suppliers for some time and is used by many organisations including those funded by taxpayer.

Specific questions:
1. State the number of parking machines under your control that accept coins.

2. State the tariffs for coin payments.

3. Provide details of machine types in terms of make, model,
version and approximate age (e.g. to the nearest 5 years).

4. State if the council uses pro-rated charging.

5. If the council does not use pro-rated charging, please provide dates and copies of documents where the feature was discussed and rejected.

6. If the council does not use pro-rated charging, please state when it will be next discussed.

Yours faithfully,

David Johnson

Clare Furlong, Carlisle City Council

4 Attachments

Dear Mr Johnson


Please find attached response to your Freedom of Information Act request.


Thank you

Clare Furlong



Clare Furlong

Corporate Information Officer

Policy and Communications

Chief Executive's Team

Carlisle City Council

Civic Centre




Telephone 01228 817165

e-mail [1][email address]



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David Johnson left an annotation ()

Thank you. The response says:
>"Linear charging was proposed as an option in the charges report that went to the Executive in November 2010."

That report mentions linear charges but it doesn't mention time credit for each coin inserted. Machine manufacturers say they can be set to give credit for each coin (subject to minimum and maximum values). The machines can even be set such that there is one linear rate for the first hour and another for the second hour etc. Giving time credit for each coin inserted is a widely used method of charging that eliminates the unhappiness caused by receiving a lesser quantity of time that corresponds with the monetary value taken.

At your next review, please consider giving time credit for each coin inserted and please consider mentioning user experience.

Thank you for providing the helpful response. This FOI request is now complete.

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