Motorists stuck again as invoice mix-up leads BT to cut broadband to Leighton Buzzard car park

West Street car park, Leighton Buzzard
West Street car park, Leighton Buzzard

There has been confusion for motorists in Leighton Buzzard and Dunstable after BT cut the broadband to two car parks due to a mix-up over invoicing.

Central Beds Council was made aware that drivers were having problems at the West Street multi-storey in Leighton Buzzard and the Ashton Square facility in Dunstable yesterday lunchtime (Monday).

While the problems in Dunstable were resolved within a few hours, issues remained with the West Street car park until Tuesday lunchtime, with the barriers left open and parking fees waived due to the technical issue.

A spokesman for Central Beds Council that the confusion over billing had arisen because BT didn’t send the council two invoices (one for each car park).

He said: “We queried it as the council can’t make any payments without receiving the invoice first.

“BT apologised for the inconvenience but still put restrictions in place on the broadband. So, that affected the ANPR and also the payment machines and cameras.

“Everything was sorted pretty quickly in the respect that we got the invoices and the restrictions were lifted, but apparently it can still take anything from seven to 24 hours for everything to return to normal.

“As soon as we were made aware of the situation yesterday lunchtime we made sure that people could get in and out of the two car parks without any inconvenience.”

Speaking on Tuesday morning, the spokesman added: “The issues at Ashton Square have been sorted and pay-on-entry facilities are available again. We are working with BT to resolve the situation at West Street and while we do the barriers are open and people do not have to pay to park there.”

It’s not the first time the West Street car park has had technical issues since the installation of the new ANPR pay-on-exit technology earlier this year.

Last month we reported how frustrated shoppers were stuck for up to half an hour due to internet issues.

A faulty broadband connection meant the camera couldn’t recognise car registration numbers in order to raise the barrier.

At the time a Central Bedfordshire Council spokesman, said: “The new number plate recognition equipment was installed in May 2017 as the preferred method of technology.

“BT can suffer the same issues you may have at home where occasionally you can lose broadband connection.

“Unfortunately this meant the equipment went down for a short time at our Leighton Buzzard car park. When this happens we override the barriers to let people out.”