The Daily Telegraph

Train operators not ready for new £1 coin

- Katie Morley Amelia Murray

By and MILLIONS of rail passengers are expected face problems buying tickets at stations from Tuesday, as more than half the country’s train operators have not modernised all their automated payment machines to accept the new 12-sidedd £1 coins.

Responding g to a Daily Tel- egraph survey, 11 out of f 18 rail providers admit-- ted that some e machines will reject the new coin.

Operators including Virgin East Coast, Transport for London, Southern Rail and Chiltern admitted that they are still updating machines.

Customers who find that their local station machines reject the coins face having to queue at manned ticket offices to swap their new coins for old round pounds.

The new dodecagon £1, which is said to be the world’s most fraud-proof coin, enters circulatio­n six months before the old £1 is phased out. In this time, both will be accepted. James Daley, director at the Fairer Finance campaign group, said it was another example of rail firms’ failure to put customers first. “Most of these companies effectivel­y run monopolies, meaning there is no competitiv­e pressure to act quickly in their customers’cu interest,” he said.sai “I hope that if peoplep get caught without a ticket, or with the wrong ticket after machine failures, that firms will take a common-sensem approachpr to fines. However,How I’m not holding my breath.”

Tesco has decided to unlock 100,000 of its coin-operated trolleys after failing to convert them in time for the launch. A spokesman said: “We will unlock all our trolleys while this process takes place so customers will not be affected by the changes.”

A Treasury spokesman said: “Companies should let their customers know what methods of payments they can use and we are confident that the vast majority of passengers will not be affected by the changeover.”

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