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Complaints about second parking machine ‘in bloody Welsh’ – even though English a pressed button away

15 Aug 2022 4 minute read
Caswell Bay beach near the car park

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.”

‘Stormed off’

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.

Angry drivers in Rhyl were left confused when a pay and display ticket machine gave instructions only in Welsh.

Language button

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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One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
1 month ago

Oh well if people are too stupid to operate the machine, what hope is there for them? Better they just go home

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
1 month ago

Don’t forget these people are in charge of motor vehicles and probably children too.

George Bodley
George Bodley
1 month ago
Reply to  Nobby Tart

Heh

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
1 month ago

I used a very same style Swansea Council machine at Horton beack car park yesterday.

The screen defaults to Welsh and at the bottom of the screen, there’s a line, in English, telling you to push the yellow button with a flag on it to toggle the languages.

Yes, it really is that simple.

Doctor Trousers
1 month ago

Good, let’s make sure all the parking meters are like this. In fact, lets install tolls on the way into Wales that work the same way. Not tolls that you have to pay, just ones in Welsh with a bloody great big “change language” button in English.
If you’re not so apoplectic with colonialist rage at being confronted with the native language of the country you’re visiting to figure it out, you’ll be grand, come on in.
It will filter out both the ignorant and the thick, the combination of both makes for the very worst kind of tourists.

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
1 month ago

I got the impression the woman complaining was a Welsh native, as her 13 year old daughter could speak/read Welsh, I doubt they’re teaching Welsh in english schools, they get enough grief teaching it in here.

Llinos Morris
Llinos Morris
1 month ago

These machines have proven tricky for our Anglo-Saxon neighbours, but from their point of view, at least there is no need to be able to speak, understand, read or write Welsh if they want to apply for the extraordinary non-job of
” decolonising” Welsh history at the National Library in Aberystwyth 😉

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
1 month ago

wow! imagine wanting to be so angry about the language of the country you live in.

sad little people with sad little lives, I’ll make a massive leap here and say they probably voted brexit and want Wales ruled by Westminster?

Sorgina
Sorgina
1 month ago

“None of them realised there is a ‘change language’ button, though to be fair the button has an icon on it, not words,” – That is the actual problem; the increasing use everywhere of these unintuitive glyphs rather than proper labelling in words.

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
1 month ago
Reply to  Sorgina

See my post above. There is a line, in English, telling you to push the yellow button to toggle the languages. It really really IS that simple.

George Bodley
George Bodley
1 month ago
Reply to  Sorgina

What these people too unintelligent to work out the icon is for changing languages on a ticket machine there’s no hope for these people

Erisian
Erisian
1 month ago

If the English hadn’t ruthlessly suppressed the Welsh language it would have been the default language everywhere in Wales. Make an effort, learn some basic Welsh, even if you prefer to speak English

Maglocunos
Maglocunos
1 month ago
Reply to  Erisian

It was the language of all of England even before England existed!

.

Crwtyn Cemais
Crwtyn Cemais
1 month ago
Reply to  Maglocunos

Digon wir! Er y Brythoneg neu’r hen Gymraeg byddai’r iaith frodorol wedi bod yn yr hen,hen ddyddiau ~ True enough! Although all the way back then the local language would have been Brythonic or Old Welsh.

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
1 month ago

Have the Welsh Tories ‘slammed’ this machine yet?
Has RT criticised Mark Drakeford yet for his ‘silence’ on this hot topic?

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
1 month ago
Reply to  Nobby Tart

😂

I Humphrys
I Humphrys
1 month ago

Hold my hand, I’m a stranger in Paradise………………
If you don’t like this, you’ll hate Finland!
Finnish, Swedish, Russian, then English………………..

Last edited 1 month ago by I Humphrys
George Bodley
George Bodley
1 month ago

Why the hell does it have to be bi lingual just have a clear language option so the little England language speakers can use it

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
1 month ago

I recall using the ordering screens at McDonalds in Barcelona Airport.

You could order in several languages, including Catalan.

Gwyndaf Hughes
Gwyndaf Hughes
1 month ago

Go to France for your holiday. I’m sure you’ll get english instructions there.

Hannah
Hannah
1 month ago

I along with many others tried to use the broken machine at Caswell Bay. It wasn’t a language issue it was a card reader issue as when you got to the payment selection as soon as you pressed the card button it cancelled the payment and went back to the beginning. The machines across Swansea are a nightmare. You can’t see a thing on the screen if it’s bright sunlight and there’s way too many steps needed. I’m always helping an older generation with them. If they’ve made the news that shows they’re not working well.

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
1 month ago
Reply to  Hannah

I always pay cash. It’s a lot easier and quicker.

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