Software fault hits bus ticket machines

SHAUN LOWTHORPE A software glitch has knocked out three state of the art bus ticket machines in Norwich.Transport chiefs have been puzzled by the failure of the machines in Castle Meadow which struck on February 18.

SHAUN LOWTHORPE

A software glitch has knocked out three state of the art bus ticket machines in Norwich.

Transport chiefs have been puzzled by the failure of the machines in Castle Meadow which struck on February 18.

Another machine in St Stephens Street has been out of action since October - the cause of fault unknown.

The faults emerged following a freedom of information (FOI) request to Norfolk County Council from the EDP.

The council installed 14 machines in the city centre as part of a £9.5m scheme to improve bus services including the opening of the new bus station.

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Since then there have been 63 maintenance checks.

Most faults (28pc) are unknown, while 25pc are to do with problems with accepting coins. Power failures accounted for 8pc of problems and printer errors for 6pc.

Usage has steadily increased since their introduction with takings between August 2005 and December 2006 totalling £99,329.45, peaking at £8,397.15 last September.

Maureen Orr, FOI officer for planning and transportation at Norfolk County Council, said: “At present, three machines on Castle Meadow are out of service due to a software fault that has affected all three machines at the same time.

“A machine on St Stephens Street has been out of service since October 2006 - the exact cause of this is unknown,” she added. “Replacement parts have been ordered and we hope to have this back in service early March 2007. Efforts are being made to get these up and running as soon as possible.