New £1 coin trouble to end as town centre meters set for upgrade

The meters at the transport interchange car park have been among those affected by the issue.
The meters at the transport interchange car park have been among those affected by the issue.
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Work will begin next week to upgrade parking meters to take the new £1 coins.

Hartlepool Borough Council says it has faced a frustrating wait since first placing an order with France-based supplier Parkeon in October – five months before the new coin was introduced.

Although we have been pressing Parkeon for action, the timescale for the work to be carried ut is not something we have been able to directly control.

Phil Hepburn

The company, which has an on-going maintenance contract with the council, has been dealing with a huge backlog of work to upgrade ticket machines across the UK.

Now it says engineers will be in the town centre from Monday to upgrade 48 machines.

Phil Hepburn, the council’s parking services manager, said: “We have received a lot of complaints from people inconvenienced by the failure of the ticket machines to accept the new £1 coin.

“We sympathise with them and share their frustrations.

“Although we have been pressing Parkeon for action, the timescale for the work to be carried out is not something we have been able to directly control.

“I recently met with a number of colleagues from other North East councils and many said they too had been enduring similar long waits so, clearly, this isn’t a problem that is confined to Hartlepool.

“However, we are pleased to have now finally been given a date for work to begin and we are looking forward to this matter being resolved.”

Ahead of the work, motorists are being reminded the machines accept other coins ranging from 10p to £2 and in some cases the council’s civil enforcement officers who patrol pay and display parking areas may be able to swap new £1 coins for old ones.

Drivers can make cashless payments via their mobile phones, although there is a small additional handling charge.

They can download a payment app or register and open an account at www.RingGo.co.uk.

Fifteen new meters recently installed at Seaton Carew following the introduction of parking charges there can accept the new £1 coin and are not affected.