Sea Life Centre boss hits out at parking delays

The car park at the Sea Life Centre
The car park at the Sea Life Centre

One of Scarborough’s most popular attractions is suffering at the hands of keyboard warriors due to parking failings outside of its control.

Visitors to Scarborough Sea Life Sanctuary are used to parking in the Scalby Mills car park, but what many of them don’t realise is that the facility is run by Scarborough Council.

Recently, those people going for a trip around the centre have been left fuming as the machine still cannot take the new £1 coin.

To compound the misery the card payment service on the machines have also been acting temperamentally.

It has led many to vent their anger online, giving the Sea Life Sanctuary bad reviews on ratings website TripAdvisor for the failings of “its”car park.

Kevin McIlmurray, general manager of Sea Life Scarborough, said it was not fair on the business.

He told The Scarborough News: “It is getting very upsetting for the staff as people are getting upset and taking it out on our employees, whether they mean to or not.

“I had one staff member in tears after being yelled at by a member of the public due to the car park.

“We are in a unique position as we are the only attraction attached to a car park and it is normally the only reason people use the car park.

“What people don’t realise is that we have no control over it.

“We are built on our reputation and people have been giving us bad TripAdvisor reviews solely on the car park, which is very frustrating.”

The centre has been buying in extra change to try and help those with the new £1 coin but the card payment facility not working has left those without any cash with little option but to go elsewhere.

“It is really putting us at a disadvantage,” added Mr McIllmurray. “We are competing with Alpamare and are being penalised for something completely out of our hands. It is so frustrating.”

Scarborough Council said its records indicated the card payment machines had been working on the days in question.

Jane Wilson, deputy operations manager, said: “We were originally led to believe that the company that supplies us with the machines would make the necessary changes required in time for the launch of the new pound coin. However, due to the scale of the changes the company needs to deliver to many different councils around the country, it was not possible for it to meet that deadline.

“Unfortunately we are still waiting for the changes to be made to the machines and we have been informed it could be another month before that happens. We apologise for the inconvenience we know this is causing our customers and we will continue to keep the pressure on the supplier to ensure our needs are met sooner rather than later.”