A few days ago, we wrote a comment saying that council communications must be crystal clear. Not everyone has an above-average IQ, and the council shouldn’t say anything that might mislead its readership. Our particular objection was that the new parking payment system was being promoted as a way of saving money. The fact that the saving won’t apply for very long, and that the only longer-term benefit to the user is likely to be convenience, isn’t mentioned in the pay machine’s on-screen advertisement shown below.
(Let’s be clear. The Eye supports the idea of an app to make paying easier. We’re also quite comfortable with the fact that there is a charge to use it. If it had been described more accurately, we’d have no concerns.)
On Tuesday we watched an elderly gentleman trying to cope with the new pay machine screen. We would have helped him more quickly, but we wanted to be sure that he was actually struggling before we interfered. Anyway, it became obvious that he was having difficulties. He made several stabs at the screen, but missed the green bar along the bottom entirely. He then started to walk away, at which point we got involved.
Come on, borough council. Keep things simple and don’t deceive!