Pay and dismay as meters fail to accept the new £1 coin
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on trips to tourist destinations from Devon to the Scottish Highlands risk being hit with fines because of the out-of-date infrastructure, according to the AA.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.”