NOT HAPPY: Lucas Neal was trapped in the council-run Neil St car park for more than two hours thanks to a faulty payment machine and no after-hours service, despite the parking lot being 24-hours.
NOT HAPPY: Lucas Neal was trapped in the council-run Neil St car park for more than two hours thanks to a faulty payment machine and no after-hours service, despite the parking lot being 24-hours. Contributed

Landscaper trapped in council car park for hours

NO ONE likes being stuck in a car park for 15 minutes, let alone for more than two hours.

But that was the ordeal for Toowoomba landscaper Lucas Neal on Monday, who suffered through a broken ticket machine at the 24-hour Neil St bus station car park and then waited an extensive period for the "after-hours" service to arrive.

Mr Neal said he went to pick up his mother's car from the Toowoomba Regional Council-managed facility at 6.45am, when he discovered the ticket machine wouldn't accept his card or even cash.

"I tried at the main machine about six times, and then I went to the boom gate machine and it said the card wasn't valid," he said.

"I made sure my card was working, so it wasn't my card.

"I tried again, and it said my parking ticket was voided."

Frustrated, Mr Neal called up the after-hours service number and got told the council would respond within normal operating hours.

When he was finally transferred to an emergency contact, the phone operator said the council was responsible for operating the car park.

"I rang council (after 8am) and then I finally got onto them," Mr Neal said.

"There was probably about 40 minutes before the council guy came down."

Mr Neal finally pulled out of the car park at 9am, now more than an hour late to go to work and more than a little irritated.

He said his main issue was with the appearance of an after-hours service that didn't properly function as one.

"It just annoys me that if there's a problem, you can ring (the number) but they can't actually do anything until its on normal hours," he said.

"The guy who came up said there was no fault coming up on the machine, so I don't know what was the problem with the ticket.

"It just frustrates the situation and not providing the help that should be there. I ended up being late to work."

Cr James O'Shea said he would continue to investigate how to improve customer service at council car parks.

"Though there is an after-hours service with signs placed around the car park that provide details of the 131 872 number referring customers to the after-hours service, council is continuing to investigate options at this car park to improve service," he said.



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