Council confirms cost of upgrading parking meters for new £1 coin

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Thousands of pounds have had to be spent on updating parking meters so that commuters can pay for their parking with the new £1 coin.

Dacorum Borough Council has had to spend £15,000 updating parking machines across the area so that they can accept the new 12-sided coin - which came into circulation on Tuesday last week (March 28).

The council carried out the work to update 57 pay and display machines back in October last year, at the same time that businesses were being prepped on ensuring that all its own coin handling equipment should be updated.

Dennis Skinner, Dacorum Borough Council’s assistant director for finance and resources, confirmed the cost at the latest cabinet meeting on March 21.

He also confirmed that the cost was to accept the new £1 coin only, after Councillor Neil Harden asked if the updated machines would mitigate any further changes to the country’s currency.

The current £1 coin is being replaced for the first time in more than thirty years because of its vulnerability to counterfeiters. Approximately one in thirty £1 coins in circulation is a counterfeit.

Adam Lawrence, chief executive of the Royal Mint, said: “It’s been designed to be fit for the future, using security features that aim to safeguard our currency, and currencies around the world, for years to come.”

But Councillor Ron Tindall, a ward councillor for Adeyfield West, said: “I understand that the new coin is supposed to combat counterfeits.

“But it’s just a great pity again that actions by the government have resulted in costs being passed on to local taxpayers.

“The government wanted to introduce a new pound coin, so they should be the ones who are paying for things like this.”