Pay and dis­may as me­ters fail to ac­cept the new £1 coin

The Daily Telegraph - - News -

MORE than one in five UK coun­cils have still not con­verted all their park­ing ticket ma­chines to ac­cept the new £1 coin. Driv­ers em­bark­ing on trips to tourist des­ti­na­tions from Devon to the Scot­tish High­lands risk be­ing hit with fines be­cause of the out-of-date in­fra­struc­ture, ac­cord­ing to the AA.

The 12-sided coin en­tered cir­cu­la­tion in March, boast­ing new se­cu­rity fea­tures to thwart coun­ter­feit­ers.

Re­sponses to a free­dom of in­for­ma­tion re­quest by the AA re­vealed 74 out of 340 coun­cils with re­spon­si­bil­ity for car parks with coin-op­er­ated ma­chines have not up­dated them all to al­low pay­ment by the new coins.

Ed­mund King, the mo­tor­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion’s pres­i­dent, said the is­sue is “not the driv­ers’ fault” and called for park­ing rules to be re­laxed un­til the prob­lem is re­solved. He added: “If the ma­chines are un­fit for pur­pose be­cause they can’t take the le­gal ten­der for a park­ing charge at £1.60 or £3.60, that’s the coun­cils’ prob­lem.

“Ei­ther make the car parks free un­til the ma­chines are con­verted or pro­vide some kind of on­line means to pay the charge within a rea­son­able time.”

Martin Tett, the Lo­cal Govern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion trans­port spokesman, said coun­cils that have not yet con­verted their ma­chines are “well on the way to­wards do­ing so”.

He added: “This has been done de­spite not re­ceiv­ing a penny in ad­di­tional fund­ing for mak­ing the change, at a time when fund­ing pres­sures on ser­vices con­tinue. De­pend­ing on lo­cal cir­cum­stances, coun­cils of­fer dif­fer­ing mech­a­nisms for pay­ment for park­ing, and if some­one is in­cor­rectly pe­nalised there is a pro­ce­dure in place to help re­solve is­sues. Coun­cils are treat­ing their res­i­dents fairly, and al­ways will do.”

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