A CONFUSING pay-and-display machine which left irate motorists with needless fines is now being moved.

Southend Council has bowed to pressure over the machine, located near residents’ parking bays in Carlingford Drive, behind Southend Hospital.

It has duped hundreds of hapless motorists into wrongly believing they could park there, when in fact they should have been using bays further away.

The residents’ bays are only three metres away from a pay-and-display machine, but the ones for non-residents to use are 30 metres from the machine, and there is only a small sign informing drivers.

The Echo has reported how dozens of unsuspecting drivers, many of them elderly, have been ticketed by traffic wardens.

It meant the wardens were regularly facing the wrath of motorists who felt they had been misled.

Bob Day, 70 of Ashurst Avenue, Southend, branded the installing of the machine a waste of money.

He said: “My wife is in hospital having an operation on her knee, and I have diabetes, so we are up and down to the hospital quite a bit.

“I saw a traffic warden taking the money out of the machine the other day, so I asked him why the machine was put there.

“He claimed it was a mistake and it shouldn’t have been put there in the first place. They’ve covered it up now. These machines aren’t cheap to install, so it has all been a colossal waste of money.”

Zulfiqar Ali, the council’s strategic highways and traffic manager, said: “Following comments from the public, we undertook a review of the parking arrangements in this area and identified a number of improvements.

“As part of this, we have installed a number of new pay-and-display machines that will be more convenient for people and we are relocating the existing machines to remove any confusion.”