Following a huge programme of work to upgrade equipment, the new 12 sided £1 coin launches today. The British Parking Association (BPA) has been working closely with the Royal Mint to ensure that its members, who include local authorities, parking operators, and parking machine manufacturers, are ready to accept the new £1 coin wherever possible.
Most parking machine manufacturers are members of the BPA and they say they are positive they will be able to manage the upgrade in a timely manner. The major pay and display machine manufacturers begun the upgrades over 12 months ago and are also starting to incorporate acceptance of the new coin on new equipment being manufactured and delivered.
The new £1 coin, with its 12-sides makes it instantly recognisable, even by touch. Also, being bi-metallic and, a world first, including a ‘latent image – an image like a hologram that changes from a ‘£’ symbol to the number ‘1’ when the coin is seen from different angles, makes it the most secure coin in the world.
The Royal Mint recognises the effort involved in preparing for the new coin with the planned six-month co-circulation period, at the end of which all coin handling equipment should be ready to accept the new £1 coin. The round-pound will cease to be legal tender on 15 October 2017.
Some believe that the advent of the new £1 coin may encourage a move towards cashless payment systems, but there is evidence to suggest that significant numbers of motorists are not ready to embrace modern payment systems, preferring coins. The BPA advocates parking operators offering a range of payment options including cash but we do appreciate that this may not be a viable option in all circumstances. Motorists should feel confident that they can pay for parking with either cash, card or phone wherever they choose to park.