Four months after the new £1 coin went into circulation, work is about to start on upgrading pay and display parking ticket machines in Hartlepool.
Complaints from motorists have been pouring into the Council, from people being left, quite literally, 'short changed' by out of date parking machines, which don't accept new £1 coins.
But visitors to Hartlepool weren't the only ones being left frustrated. The Council first placed an order to upgrade the ticket machines with France-based supplier Parkeon in October last year – some five months before the new coin was introduced.
The company, which has an on-going maintenance contract with the Council, has been dealing with a huge backlog of work to upgrade ticket machines across the UK.
Now it says engineers will be in Hartlepool from Monday, July 10, to upgrade 48 town centre machines.
Phil Hepburn, the Council's Parking Services Manager, said he sympathises with those who've been left unable to pay.
Although we have been pressing Parkeon for action, the timescale for the work to be carried out is not something we have been able to directly control.
Ahead of the work, motorists are being reminded that the ticket machines accept other denominations of coins ranging from 10p-£2 and in some cases the Council’s Civil Enforcement Officers who patrol pay and display parking areas may be able to swap new £1 coins for old ones.