Worcester City Council ends car parks contract
Worcester City Council has informed Flowbird, provider of the payment machines in its 14 car parks, that it is terminating the latter's contract.
The decision has been taken by the Council's Policy & Resources Committee following a review of arrangements, including two major issues at Flowbird payment machines in Worcester car parks. In September 2021 there was a delay of up to 49 days in customers' payments by card being taken, while a year later in September 2022 numerous customers were charged multiple times for parking.
In both cases the problems were not caused by the City Council, but by the payment machines and software supplied by Flowbird and the payment system operated by the company's partner, Elavon.
Card payments at the City Council's 14 car parks have been suspended since September 2022, in order to avoid any risk of these issues re-occurring.
Council Joint Leader Councillor Chris Mitchell said: "I think most Worcester residents will understand why we have had to take this decision. Thousands of people were affected by these payment problems, with the most recent situation in September 2022 seeing £390,000 in incorrect payments being taken.
"All the multiple payments were eventually refunded, but it has damaged the reputation of our car park operation.
"People who live, visit and work in Worcester need to know that they can confidently use our car parks, so it is vital that the Council acts in order to restore that trust."
The Council has now appointed Metric to supply new payment machines for its car parks. These are expected to be installed in the next few months, bringing with them the reintroduction of card payments.