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Cashless payments to come to Norwich pay and display car parks in 2021

PUBLISHED: 11:46 09 October 2020 | UPDATED: 13:11 09 October 2020

Drivers parking in Norwich City Council's off-street car parks will not have to rustle around for coins from next year.  Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Drivers parking in Norwich City Council's off-street car parks will not have to rustle around for coins from next year. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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Drivers parking in Norwich could finally be able to stop hoarding the pound coins to pay to do so - because cashless payments could be introduced in the city council’s car parks next year.

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

While tickets for the city’s multi-storey car parks accept card payments, the off-street and on-street car parks run by City Hall only accept coins.

It costs the city council £120,000 a year to pay a company to collect all the money which drivers put in the machines - and City Hall is keen to cut those costs.

While cashless payments have long been available in South Norfolk, North Norfolk, Great Yarmouth and West Norfolk, Norwich City Council, the machines in Norwich, installed in 2014, did not accept them.

However, the city council has revealed that it is looking to make contactless card payments possible in all its car parks - and on-street machines - at some point next year.

The council said that, at this stage, they were not able to say when exactly it would happen, or how much it would cost to make the necessary changes.

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In 2018, the council had said introducing cashless payments would probably result in an increase in the price of parking, but the authority now says it is too early to say if that would be the case.

The council’s decision to make it possible to pay with cards comes as people’s behaviour has changed due to coronavirus, with people carrying less cash with them.

The council says cashless payments are now used for 70pc of transactions in the council’s multi-storey car parks at St Andrews, Rose Lane and St Giles.

At a meeting of the council’s Labour-controlled cabinet next week, councillors are set to agree to a new contract for a company to collect the money from the car parks.

Ofrficers are recommending that they agree to award a four-year contract to Security Plus Limited at a reduced cost of about £90,000 per year.

That contract would also allow for six-monthly assessments, as the amount of cash being paid drops when cashless payments are introduced, along with a break clause after two years.

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


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