April 8, 2017

New £1 coin presents early parking problems

Many public car parks are not ready to accept the new pound coin

A new ‘foolproof’ one pound coin has become legal tender but may present problems, at least initially, for drivers looking to park in public car parks.

Many ticket machines have not yet been adapted to take the new multi-sided £1 coin and are unlikely to be ready before June.

Why do we need a new pound coin?

It’s the first time the pound coin has been changed in more than 30 years. According to the Royal Mint, the old coin had became a problem as they were easily illegally copied which meant that thousands of counterfeit pound coins have been in circulation.

The new 12-sided £1 will be “the most secure coin in the world” making the pound coins harder to illegally copy, says the Royal Mint.

The new coin has a hologram-like image that changes from a ‘£’ symbol to the number ‘1’ when the coin is seen from different angles with all sorts of added extras to the way the coin looks.

There is also a hidden high-security feature built into the coin to protect it from being illegally copied, although the details have not been made public.

The design on the ‘tails’ side of the coin features four emblems to represent each of the nations of the United Kingdom – the English rose, the leek for Wales, the Scottish thistle, and the shamrock for Northern Ireland – emerging from a single stem within a crown.

It was based on artwork by 15-year-old David Pearce, who won the competition to design the new coin.

When can I use the old coin until?

The old, round £1 coin can be used until 15th October, but after that date they become worthless.

People will need to swap their old coins for new ones at the bank, and it is thought that around a third of the £1.3 billion worth of coins stored in the nation’s piggy banks or saving jars around the UK are the old style pound coin.

Some of the coins that are returned by the public will be melted down and used to make the new 12-sided version.

What can drivers do now?

A simple answer is to have a supply of both types of the pound coin with you so that if you are trying to park in a car park which has not yet been converted, you won’t be caught out.

According to the British Parking Association, over a quarter of Britain’s 100,000 parking machines have not yet been updated to process the new pound coin, meaning drivers could struggle to park in many places in the UK over the coming months.