Belfast Telegraph

Magherafelt businessman's hit online rant at car parking ticket issued outside his shop - when machine wouldn't take his money

By Claire Williamson

Car parking tickets are never a pleasant sight for motorists - but what if you were parked right outside your shop and handed a ticket - after the machine wouldn't take your money.

Magherafelt business owner Richard Farquhar has taken to social media in dismay after he was given a parking ticket on Thursday as he parked outside his pet food store.

He says the 'lack of tolerance' is costing him business and his grievances have been viewed more than 10,000 times online.

The 48-year-old tried to get a ticket but the machine wasn't working. He tried multiple coins but all were rejected. He even went to the post office to enquire and on his return he had a ticket.

On Thursday Richard posted a video to the K9Bonus Petfood store Facebook page with a rather measured, yet firm rant about his ordeal.

The video begins with a close up of his Land Rover parked right outside his shop.  It then zooms into the car license plate which bears the same name as the store.

He then moves along to the ticket machine and demonstrates how he tried to get a ticket the machine but it won't take his money.

The online response to the video has been overwhelmingly in agreement with what he says.

He continues in the video: "This is about safety - it's also about making money. Any normal person would see the owner of a business parked outside and shout inside are 'you going to move that or have you got a ticket yet?'

"Magherafelt seems to get it worse. The statistics last year, tickets in Cookstown were 44, Dungannon were 324 and Magherafelt was 1137.

"We are quite hard done by in Magherafelt compared to the other two council areas."

The business owner said he can hardly believe the response to the video but that Thursday was the final straw.

He told the Belfast Telegraph his customers, even when they are stopping for five minutes to have a bag filled up with dog food, have been handed tickets.

Richard says the machines are "not fit for purpose" and that the "no tolerance" approach costs him business each week.

In response the DRD said everyone who receives a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) is entitled to challenge it and that faulty machines should be reported and investigated.

A spokeswoman said: “With regard to Mr Farquhar’s complaint, Transport Northern Ireland has requested the transaction records, and inspection and maintenance records for the machines in Rainey Street car park. These should be available early next week.

She added: “The number of Penalty Charge Notices issued in any one town or area depends on many factors, not least of which are the size of the town, the extent of parking restrictions and the volume of traffic.”

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