Some of you may have noticed In the Cove is not backward in coming forward about certain maintenance, cleanliness, and general housekeeping issues at Lane Cove Market Square (LCMS).
It would be fair to say, that there have been one or two (ITC says with tongue firmly planted in cheek) issues with Lane Cove Market Square.
Our roving reporters never fail us, every time the escalators stop working or the lift stays on the ground floor you know about it. You are there with your trusty camera phone ready to snap and send us the evidence. However, It got to the stage where we had to stop posting about LCMS. It was clogging up our newsfeed. (That’s not to say it wasn’t tempting to keep posting pictures as some of our roving reporters sent us some cracking shots and incredibly funny memes).
Enter stage left, a new centre management team. There were so many issues it did take them time to find their feet. However, you may have noticed some improvements. For example, posters started appearing with informative and helpful information (there are even phone numbers for customers to call).
Colliers International are now the centre managers. Colliers were the team that finally arranged for the escalator to start functioning and for the lifts to start working.
But wait there’s more……Queue announcement type music or even a drum roll….
Get ready to lift off!!! Since the day LCMS opened, there have been real issues accessing the car park, via the lifts, outside store trading hours and public holidays. In a nutshell, if Woolies is closed you cannot access the car park via the lifts and you have to walk around the back of the shops. Not a big deal you may say, first world problem – yes and yes. However, if you are a parent with a pram, an elderly person or a person who is visiting Lane Cove and supporting our local shops (and boosting our economy) it is a problem.
ITC had raised this issue several times and was told that the lifts could not be programmed to lock off at a level to prevent access so the lifts had to be locked off completely when Woolworths was not open. This seemed strange, but then again ITC’s experience with floors being locked off was limited to office buildings with access cards. When ITC contacted the new centre manager, he immediately (and I mean swiftly, rapido, speedy Gonzales type quick) came back with an email saying, of course, they could lock off a floor.
ITC was advised:
I can confirm that the Lane Cove Market Square public lifts have been reprogrammed to reflect the centre access hours from 5am to midnight daily. From 5am to Midnight the lifts will be operational for public use however the lifts will only be able to access the Woolworths level during Woolworths trading hours.
We are happy for you to post this on the ITC. Do not hesitate to contact me should any concerns be raised.
Yes folks, it is true.
Well you know ITC, when we solve one issue we quickstep to the next issue (yes it does sound like an ad for a dodgy dance studio). We then asked the centre manager what they were going to do about the appalling toilet cleaning and parent room cleaning. Colliers advised us that they were well aware of the issues and were working on strategies.
Over the weekend of the 6th and 7th May the toilet cleanliness reached its nadir. The state of the toilets was so bad we received a report that the toilets had been vandalised. ITC went undercover to investigate the state of the toilets. As soon as we started our investigation we bumped into a person who looked very knowledgeable and official cleaning the toilets. She advised they were part of the new cleaning team taking over.
ITC was advised by Colliers Limited:
We changed over to a new cleaning provider at the Centre last Saturday which also coincides with receiving cleaning complaints. Our Facilities Manager is working with the new cleaning providers staff on site daily to ensure services are at an acceptable standard.
At the same time, we also met with Colliers Limited promotions manager who has told us they are looking to revamp the centre marketing programme and possibly bring back some of your favourite promotions.
ITC is not promising this will be the last time you see issues with Lane Cove Market Square (just last week the ladies’ toilets were blocked up). However, ITC is pleased to say Colliers Limited have adopted the Frasier Crane approach and when you raise an issue with them they say: I’m listening.
Lane Cove Market Square Car Park
You may have noticed over the last few weeks that Lane Cove Market Square Car Park has become grid locked again and again. ITC receives numerous complaints and we could see a pattern emerging. You may ask why Lane Cove Council did not also see this pattern (because some of it is very obvious).
It was apparent that the exit box was not programmed correctly. It did not matter how long you had stayed in the car park, the screen displayed stated no payment required. However the exit box and the boomgate were not communicating and if you did stay over the 3 hour mark the boom gate would not go up. You always have the option of paying for parking at the P2 pay station – but who remembers the exact time you entered the car park.
The P2 pay station has its own issue. It does not pay wave, it has trouble accepting the new plastic notes and the EFTPOS keyboard is hard to use and read (particularly if you are like ITC and suffer fat finger syndrome on devices with small buttons)**
In the Cove experienced those exact issues – twice in the one week. The exit screen displayed no payment required, but the boomgate would not go up. People started honking their horns at ITC (yes at ITC).
Pay wave was not working on the exit box (even though a few weeks earlier ITC had told Lane Cove Council that pay wave was not working). In each case I was just over the 3-hour mark (and in one case only because the trolley tractor was parked in front).
Next time ITC used the LCMS car park ITC intentionally stayed for four hours – ITC went to leave the car park with the intent to pay. The no payment required screen came up. ITC and her trusty photographer (aka Miss ITC) took photos of the problem and submitted a detailed issues report to LCC.
Lane Cove Council advised
Thank you for getting in touch and passing on the details of the various scenarios where the pay wave upon exit wasn’t working properly – it allowed for the issue to be fixed promptly. In short there was a software upgrade and whilst the provider was trying to resolve initial anomalies with some card types, the level of detail you gave actually helped them to report some more specifics and ensure it was all resolved.
Pin pad size and location hasn’t been reported as a prohibitive payment issue to date for either car park but the issue has been raised and noted so is on record should there be any change to the physical machine.
If you have had trouble using the key pad or pay wave please contact:
Fleet & Parking Coordinator
Lane Cove Council
Phone: 9911 3547
We hope never to have to create another Lane Cove Market Square hashtag like #liftgate #escalatorgate #boomgategate (to be fair to Lane Cove Market Square, the car park is operated by the Lane Cove Council using technology that was the first of its kind in a commercial car park – message to self, never ever be the first to adopt technology around parking).
ITC hopes that very shortly all the private messages, posts to page and emails to ITC about escalators that never move, lifts with doors that never close, toilets with rubbish overflowing can all be deleted (let’s pretend it was a bad dream; like when Bobby came back to life on Dallas).
** Sue (ITC’s Website administrator) begs ITC not to post updates from her phone and to use a keyboard. Sue always has to go in and fix up typos and auto corrects
Do you have a local issue you would like help with? ITC is here to help just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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