Anger over parking meter charges

The deputy leader of Calderdale Council has called on the Government to fund the costs of changing parking meters to cope with new coinage.

Coun Tim Swift, (Lab. Town), claimed it will cost his council alone almost £50,000 to modify its 215 parking machines.

Now he has been supported by the all-party Local Government Association which has come out in support of Calderdale Council’s view that the Government should fund the costs associated with the new coins that are being introduced next year.

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The new 5p and 10p coins, which are being introduced are designed to save the Government millions each year.

But the LGA is warning that councils across the country could face a total bill of around £5m for the changes.

Coun Swift said: “I am pleased that the Local Government Association is taking up this issue with central Government. We fully understand why the new coins are being introduced, and of course there will be long term savings.

“But at a time when local councils are already facing massive cuts, we think the Government should be helping councils to meet a cost that is being caused by their actions.”

The change is set to cost industry dear, with a bill estimated at up to £40m as members of the Automatic Vending Association (AVA) and British Parking Association (BPA) are hardest hit.

Jonathan Hilder, the AVA’s chief executive, said he was anticipating a cost of £25m to his members as engineers were expected to visit 462,000 machines across the country to upgrade software.

And Patrick Troy, the chief executive of the BPA, which represents 350 local authorities, claimed his members could face a bill of £15m for altering machines.

Calderdale’s Cabinet member Barry Collins has been critical of the measures too saying the change had been forced on councils by the Government and the Royal Mint.