Currency change too quick for old Argyll meters

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Unable to accept the new £1 coins, outdated parking meters are causing havoc in towns across Argyll and Bute.

The new 12-sided £1 coins, which became legal tender in March, cannot be used to pay for parking as more than 60 meters have not been upgraded to accept the currency.

This has left many motorists confused and angry as parking tickets are still being issued for cars parked in metered areas, despite the machine only accepting the old round £1 coins which are being taken out of circulation.

Inveraray community councillor Iain MacAskill commented on the Argyllshire Advertiser Facebook page, saying: ‘The council were asked to stop enforcing penalties until they had resolved the issue, but as usual they are doing their own thing.

‘Other businesses and organisations managed to hit the ground running, but our council just seems incapable of picking itself up sometimes. We should be attracting visitors, not actively discouraging them.’

The old £1 coins have not been issued by banks or shops for more than three months and the currency changeover was widely publicised before March.

Not only are locals feeling hard done by but the confusion over using the new coins in outdated parking meters may discourage tourists from staying longer in Argyll towns.

Stuart Kidd also commented on the Advertiser’s Facebook page, saying: ‘In that case they should put a bag over the meter and give free parking. This would also allow more time for tourists to spend in the town and boost the tourist income.’

Problems with the old parking meters have been felt across the region, with residents in Oban, Rothesay and Dunoon unable to use the new coins to pay for parking.

A spokesperson for Argyll and Bute Council said: ‘We have installed a number of new parking meters which are compatible with the new coins.

‘Approximately 60 older-style meters across the council area are also having their software updated to allow them to accept the new £1 coins.

‘This process is ongoing and will be complete by the time the old-style coins are phased out in October.

‘There is an appeals process for anyone who wants to dispute a parking fine.’

The old £1 coin will cease to be legal tender on October 15.