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Unread 13-01-2009, 01:21   #1
MrX
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Default Parking at Kent Station - inadequate ticket machines

I used the large longer-term Kent Station, Cork car park for the first time in quite a while and was pretty horrified at the way it operates.

Rather than a barrier-system like Heuston, it has pay-and-display.

Problems:

The machines weren't working properly and were refusing credit cards, others were refusing most coins. This resulted in a lot of passengers going in a mad panic trying to find a working machine.

The other major problem is the inflexibility of the system. You have to decide how long you are going to stay away for in a multiple of days. If you were to end up missing the last train back to Cork, you could end up clamped and it could cost you a LOT of money. Where as in Heuston you'd simply pay at the ticket machine for the amount of time you'd actually spent in the car park.

I don't know how they expect to operate what is basically a long-term car park facility with pay-and-display in Cork. It's totally stupid.

Access to the station is also ridiculous via a very steep flight of stairs that goes up about the equivalent of several stories of a building.

At the very least, IE, or the car park operator, need to invest in an appropriate ticket system and barriers rather than this cheapo approach.
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Unread 13-01-2009, 10:00   #2
Thomas Ralph
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrX View Post
I used the large longer-term Kent Station, Cork car park for the first time in quite a while and was pretty horrified at the way it operates.

Rather than a barrier-system like Heuston, it has pay-and-display.

Problems:

The machines weren't working properly and were refusing credit cards, others were refusing most coins. This resulted in a lot of passengers going in a mad panic trying to find a working machine.
You can also pay the attendant in the hut, or (if unattended) in the portacabin in the station itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrX View Post
The other major problem is the inflexibility of the system. You have to decide how long you are going to stay away for in a multiple of days. If you were to end up missing the last train back to Cork, you could end up clamped and it could cost you a LOT of money. Where as in Heuston you'd simply pay at the ticket machine for the amount of time you'd actually spent in the car park.
In all my time living in Cork (which sadly ended in 2006) I have seen a grand total of one vehicle clamped in that car park, which was a van that was abandoned there. Plenty of cars had warning notices requesting that they pay the attendant and saying that a repeat offence might result in clamping. The soft-touch seems to have worked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrX View Post
I don't know how they expect to operate what is basically a long-term car park facility with pay-and-display in Cork. It's totally stupid.
They had a barrier system before. Originally it was pay 1.50 on entry and that was it. Subsequently, they did a ticket system with a manned shed on exit (which had the advantage of being able to charge people more if they didn't present a rail ticket), but they lost a lot on that because when the shed was unattended (e.g. late at night, or if someone was late for his shift) they had to raise the barrier and let people out for free. The current system seems the most reasonable to me, and indeed the pay and display system is what's being rolled out at most commuter stations across the country.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrX View Post
Access to the station is also ridiculous via a very steep flight of stairs that goes up about the equivalent of several stories of a building.
That's a trade-off bearing in mind that the car park is at a much lower level than the bridge by the station that you come out onto. For an alternative route, go out the gate that you drive in by, take a right, then around a corner to the left, then go right at the Y-junction and the station's ahead on the right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrX View Post
At the very least, IE, or the car park operator, need to invest in an appropriate ticket system and barriers rather than this cheapo approach.
With respect, we haven't seen many complaints; most have been that it was too expensive rather than anything else.
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Unread 15-01-2009, 13:32   #3
MrX
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Well, on the morning I went there I was rushing for a train. You don't always have time to go wandering around looking for an attendant. This car park is at least as big as the space in Heuston, if not slightly larger. How the heck was I supposed to know there was an attended hut, or that it accepted payment?! No signs, no nothing!

There were no obvious signs directing towards any hut.
The machines did not work properly.
It's completely inflexible, i.e. you have to decide how long you're going to stay before you go.
So what if you haven't seen cars clamped there? Are you suggesting that I just leave my car there after the ticket expires if I'm delayed in Dublin and hope that they don't clamp it?! The release fee is astronomical.

Anyway, obviously my opinion is of no consequence and CIE are a wonderfully well organised company who would never do anything that might inconvenience passengers!

All hail CIE!

With respect, I use many other car parks and on a regular basis e.g. airports, and railway (UK and elsewhere) and the facility at kent station while it's roomy, is very poorly organised and managed.

Last edited by MrX : 15-01-2009 at 13:35.
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Unread 15-01-2009, 14:22   #4
Thomas Ralph
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Fair points. There's certainly plenty of room for improvement, and if you don't know the options they certainly don't make it obvious what they are.
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