Anger over Horsham car park pay machine fiasco

Parking machine in Denne Road, Horsham SUS-171005-141003001
Parking machine in Denne Road, Horsham SUS-171005-141003001

Horsham District Council has taken a pounding from disgruntled drivers after several of its car park machines failed to take new one pound coins, despite thousands of pounds being spent to convert them.

Residents were left fuming after being unable to use the new twelve-sided coins, which have been in circulation for almost two months, to pay for their parking.

In March the council said almost £6,400 had been spent adapting all its 29 machines around the town to take the new coins and the new £5 plastic notes.

This week it confirmed only three car parks currently took the coins.

Wendy Morris travels to Horsham from Warnham every week. On Wednesday, May 3, she parked in Denne Road car park and was forced to swap her new coins with another driver in order to use the Pay and Display machine.

She said: “I was spitting teeth about it.

“There is no notice on the machines.

“I thought I had got lots of fakes but a lady came up to me and said you have to use the old coins.

“Instead of enjoying my visit to Horsham like I do every week I didn’t enjoy it, it was a nuisance.”

Another resident agreed, calling on the council to put up notices as soon as possible.

The council apologised to drivers and said the machines are expected to accept the new coins by the beginning of June.

A council spokesman said: “We are in communication with suppliers to convert the coin mechanism software within some of our payment machines to facilitate the use of the new pound coin. The suppliers are experiencing delays to their service as a result of the huge national demand to convert existing machines.

“Payment machines in Swan Walk Shopping Centre, Piries Place and The Forum already accept the new pound coins and all other coins are accepted in all of the machines.”

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