Half of new parking machines to be installed across Warwickshire will take cash
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Warwickshire County Council is to install new parking payment machines that take card and contactless – with half of them taking cash.
The authority last week signed off a procurement exercise to put in 180 new machines to replace those that have stood for around 15 years and are starting to become unreliable.
The council’s report notes that some have been “removed from service as faults can no longer be rectified” with 45 of the current 250 out of action.
The volume of operational machines will be reduced as a result of a “machine rationalisation exercise”, something the council says “will continue to ensure that all parking locations have a safely accessible machine”.
Half will take cash payments to prevent people from being excluded with the report adding: “Machines located in key locations reporting significant parking levels will all have multiple payment options.
“The continuation of the cash payment option reflects our customers’ preference for multiple payment options.”
It follows on from an issue raised at last week’s meeting for all county councillors where Councillor Sarah Feeney highlighted the concerns of an elderly resident who “ended up parking on double yellow lines” and was left “really distressed” because she had no accessible method of paying.
“There are a number of divisions across the county where residents are digitally disenfranchised,” she said.
“With the move to most on-street parking being paid for by phone or via the internet through a phone, and permit schemes again mostly being put online, what information is being sent to residents who may not be aware of these issues?
“There have been a number of residents wanting to park in Rugby only to find out they cannot put money in the box.”
Councillor Jan Matecki, the county’s portfolio holder for transport and planning, said: “The county council is aware of the concerns of individuals being digitally disenfranchised as more and more services adapt to new technologies and ways of working.
“For many people, the ability to use technology provides a quicker, more efficient and more user-friendly experience, however that cannot mean the exclusion of those who are not able to fully use the digital technology.
“Our new pay and display machines, which will be installed over the coming months to replace our older and unreliable machines, will include a mixture of physical cash payments in 50 per cent of our stock alongside cashless payment methods as well as the RingGo service, which can be accessed via telephone and online.
“All locations in the county that have pay and display machines will have a physical cash payment option."
He also noted that those applying for or renewing parking permits can access help on the phone with current or prospective holders written to in order to highlight that service.
The provider of the new machines will also enter a four-year service and maintenance contract and commit to 80 per cent of the machines being solar powered.
The tendering process is expected to be completed by the end of August with the contract awarded in September.
After surveys have been completed, it is anticipated there will be an eight-week turnaround on installing the first machines in Leamington, followed by Stratford, Warwick, Rugby and Kenilworth.