Damaged parking meter in Wigan town centre.
Parking meters in Wigan town centre and around the borough have been targeted by vandals.
Council enforcement managers are counting the cost of damage to a number of machines, on Dicconson Street, Wigan Lane, in Swinley and in Leigh.
Sharon Brightcliffe, car parks officer, said: “There have been a series of wilful attacks on meters in recent weeks, which we condemn. Nearly £2000 of damage has been caused, presumably in the mistaken belief that cash is left inside them overnight.”
The machine on Dicconson Street was so badly damaged that it must be replaced after two incidents. The first cost council tax payers £400 and shortly afterwards a second attack caused damage in excess of £1000. The machine in Wigan Lane requires a new cover after an apparent smash with a baseball bat while a machine in Bengal Street, Leigh was set on fire causing its display screen to melt. A similar fate was met by one in Swinley.
“The vault doors on all pay and display machines are very secure indeed,” explains Sharon, “They have multiple layer construction, hardened steel and other security measures. We are replacing the wording on all meters to make it clear that money is removed each night.”