Thicker coins could land Norwich with �20k parking meter bill

Council bosses are facing a �20,000 bill to upgrade all Norwich's parking meters – because 5p and 10p coins are about to get thicker.

From January, the Treasury intends to mint coins using steel instead of copper and, while they will have the same weight and diameter, they will be 11pc thicker.

The new minting method will save the government �176m, but local authorities will have to foot the bill to upgrade parking meters to accept the new coins and the Local Government Association (LGA) has called for the Treasury to pick up the tab.

With Norwich's 110 parking meters likely to cost an estimated �20,000 to upgrade, the city and county council, which own the meters, face an unwanted bill.

Brenda Arthur, pictured, leader of Norwich City Council, said: 'I am totally in support of the LGA's campaign.

'If the government is imposing yet another cost to local councils at a time when it will save the money, then they should foot the bill.'

A Treasury spokesman said: 'The government consulted before deciding on the change, and the introduction of the new coins has already been delayed to allow industry – including local councils – time to prepare. We also anticipate it will take many months for the new coins to reach significant circulation levels, giving extra time to adapt or replace machines and substantially reduce costs.'

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Broadland District Council does not charge for parking, while South Norfolk Council says it will cost just under �1,500 to update its 18 machines.

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