Complaints about second parking machine ‘in bloody Welsh’ – even though English a pressed button away
There have been complaints about a second parking ticket machine that defaults to Welsh – even though the English language option was a pressed button away.
Over the weekend the tale of a ticket machine in Rhyl, Denbighshire which caused long queues when it only gave out instructions in Welsh made headlines across the nations of the UK.
Now a second parking ticket machine has raised hackles in Swansea, even though in the latter case users could choose English just by pressing a button.
Paul Sambrook said that the ticket machine in Caswell Bay in the city was causing people to “give up” because they believed the machine “wasn’t working”.
He said that “they couldn’t make the card payment as they didn’t understand the instructions”.
“None of them realised there is a ‘change language’ button, though to be fair the button has an icon on it, not words,” he said.
“I had no problem but a woman behind me observed that ‘it was all in bloody Welsh’. Her daughter, age about 13, had no problem and could both read the Welsh and press the language change button for her.”
He added that the lesson was that defaulting to Welsh was positive for the language, but that it needed to be clearer that visitors that couldn’t understand the language could switch to English.
“They really need a clear instruction on them about how to change to English or any other language included – or the initial screen needs to be bilingual,” he said.
“I’m sure there’ll be a few people grumpy about the Welsh, but replacing the Welsh with English would be the worst thing – the majority of people did manage to work it out or could read the Welsh well enough.”
On Saturday queues had developed at Rhyl’s central underground car park as non-Welsh speakers struggled to work out how to pay to park at the location which is administered by Denbighshire County Council.
The queues were made worse when the machine also failed to recognise debit cards.
A local motorist, who understands basic Welsh, but who is not fluent in the language was caught up in the queue to pay on Thursday afternoon.
The motorist, who asked to remain anonymous, said one driver was so frustrated he gave up trying to figure out the machine.
“The man stormed off when the machine repeatedly failed to accept his bank card. ‘Why are the instructions only in Welsh. Not many people in Rhyl speak Welsh’.
“Another family from the Merseyside area also struggled as half a dozen people crowded around the faulty machine, trying to solve the problem. ‘I’m going to be late for my meeting’ another driver told me when he finally got his ticket.
The motorist added: “I paid £4.50 for this all-day ticket. I only wanted to park here for two hours, but I couldn’t work out how to adjust the time because the instructions were in Welsh.
“The whole point of a car park is you can park quickly and easily. You don’t expect to stand in a queue for half an hour whilst people try and work out how the machine works – or doesn’t work in this case.”
A spokeswoman for Denbighshire County Council said “Our car parks team are looking into this issue.
“We would like to remind people that there are two other machines available in the Rhyl Central car park and people can use the pay-by-phone smartphone app with location code 804281 as an alternative way of paying.
“Our pay and display machines default to Welsh, but there is a large grey ‘language button’ that people can press to change the language.
“This is explained on the machines; however, customer service management is also patrolling to assist customers on site.”
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