Trials of cashless Norwich car parks to start within months

Drivers parking in Norwich City Council's off-street car parks will not have to rustle around for co

Cashless parking trials are due to begin in Norwich car parks - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

The days of drivers having to hoard pound coins to park in Norwich's car parks could soon be over - with trials of cashless parking due to start.

While machines in the three multi-storey car parks run by Norwich City Council accept card payments, those on the surface car parks owned by City Hall are coin only.

It is the same situation for the council-owned pay and display machines on city centre streets.

That is despite cashless payments in South Norfolk, North Norfolk, Great Yarmouth and West Norfolk having been available for years.

Norwich City Council's machines were installed in 2014, but changes are due in the months ahead.

In April, Mike Stonard, council cabinet member for sustainable and inclusive growth, said this year would see trials of smartphone payments for tickets at car parks in the city.

And a spokesperson for the city council said it is hoped trial locations for cashless payments would be up and running in some of the city's car parks in the next few months.

She said a project group set up to make the changes was continuing to work through the details and logistics.

Rouen Road car park is one of 11 city council-run car parks where you can only pay with coins. Photo

The council has yet to say where the trials will take place. - Credit: Archant

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The locations of the car parks where the trials will take place have yet to be announced.

The coronavirus pandemic means people are carrying less cash with them, with some shops and venues no longer taking cash payments.

Last year, the city council agreed a new contract for a company to collect the money from car parks at a reduced cost of about £90,000 per year.

Along with the three multi-storey car parks, Norwich City Council runs 11 off-street car parks in the city, while on-street payment machines are in numerous streets.

Meanwhile, drivers can currently park for free in one of the city council's car parks.

Where the pay machine should be in the Barn Road car park - following work to build student accommodation above it - there are just wires in the floor.

Wires in car park

People can park for free in Norwich's Barn Road car park as the pay machines has yet to be installed. - Credit: Dan Grimmer

The council said the pandemic meant it had not been possible to install a new machine, but decided not to shut the car park to encourage people to use the city's businesses.