Thursday, 29 December 2016

Parking foul up with Ringo

You may have seen the reports or even the video (below) of the issue of some parking tickets on Tuesday in Edinburgh.

The problem was that Ringo, the cashless payment system for parking spaces, was programmed to give out the wrong information saying that parking was free on Tuesday.  Indeed, it wouldn't accept payment.

But it wasn't free - Edinburgh only has four parking holidays a year - and wardens were instructed to continue issuing tickets.

Several hundred people, who had been told by Ringo that parking was free, received tickets and the video above is from one of those unhappy people (who just happens to be a Government Minister).  As the Minister says it wasn't the warden's fault - though not being able to correct the situation was unfortunate in the extreme.

So here is what has been done - along with the background.
  • I am told all Ringo users who tried to pay for a ticket have been texted by Ringo advising them of the mistake and that the ticket would not need to be paid
  • A note has been put on the Council website for anyone who tries to pay their fine, and preventing them from doing so.
  • The initial Council media response has been corrected (it didn't hit the right mark, did it - you can see how it was portrayed here)
  • There will be some interesting discussions between the Council and the two companies involved who have the contract . . . 
Ringo is the cashless payment system administered by NSL which increasing numbers of people find handy to pay for parking. The software is programmed by another company who put in the appropriate dates and any changes necessary.  The fault is that the wrong information was programmed in to the app - showing Tuesday as a parking holiday.  Of course the other problem is that when discovered, a decision was taken to continue issuing tickets and there appears to have been no escalation by the parking warden's manager.

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