1 February 2017

All change as parking team prepares for new £1 coin

Work starts this month to replace parking machines in Brighton and Hove as the council prepares for the introduction of the new 12-sided £1 coin.

The move will see most parking machines in in the city switched to pay-by-card as part of a £1.8m investment to improve reliability and cut down on theft.

Since 2008, £150,000 has been stolen from parking machines in Brighton & Hove. In a three month period last year, there were 51 incidents of theft or attempted theft, netting thieves almost £15,000 and causing £30,000 of damage.

Over the next few weeks 298 of the city’s oldest machines which take coins will be removed and  replaced with machines which accept both chip-and-pin and contactless card payments.  The majority of these machines need replacing as they are well past their normal life and are beginning to rust.

150 of the new machines will accept cards as well as coins. These will be clearly branded as accepting cash and strategically placed where they are most likely to be needed.

Drivers will also still be able to pay for their parking by phone or in cash at any of the city’s 150 PayPoint outlets by quoting the location code for where they parked, which is displayed on machines and street signs.

A map and list of the 150 cash and card machines and 150 PayPoint shops where you can still pay by cash is available online

Official figures show 95 per cent the UK’s population has a bank card.  The figure is likely to be higher among drivers because of their need to pay for vehicle tax and insurance. The Citywide Parking Review survey showed that paying by card was the most popular choice of payment type in the city.

There will be no administration fee for card payments at machines

As well as issuing tickets in the traditional way, the new machines will require drivers to key in their registration number. This will make enforcement easier and more efficient. In future, it could also pave the way for a new app to help drivers find vacant on street parking spaces in the city. Live information about which of the city’s main car parks have spaces on the Ethos Parking Platform is already available.

Since the introduction of PayByPhone last year, more than 40 per cent of drivers now pay for their parking by phone. Many are enjoying the advantage of being able to top up their parking using this system without having to go back to the machine or carry change for their parking

Councillor Gill Mitchell, chair of the Environment, Transport and Sustainability committee said:  “The introduction of the new £1 coin and the pressing need to replace our old on-street machines gave us an opportunity to introduce a better system.  These changes will give us newer, more reliable and user-friendly machines, while maintaining the ability to pay in cash on street and at PayPoint outlets.”

The contractors aim to install around 60 machines a week and will be working hard to minimise any disruption. However, there may be gaps of one or two days as machines are removed, replaced or upgraded.

Drivers are advised not to park in any bays with bright yellow suspension signs as these bays have been suspended to allow maintenance engineers access to the machines. The PaybyPhone and PayPoint services will continue to operate as normal. Drivers wishing to pay at a machine should be able to find one nearby.