Cashless payment for car parks in the city would come at cost to motorists

Rouen Road car park, Norwich that may be redeveloped, along with business premises on nearby Garden

Rouen Road car park, Norwich that may be redeveloped, along with business premises on nearby Garden Street for housing and a new school. Photo: Steve Adams - Credit: Archant

The cost of bringing in cashless payment options for car park pay machines in the city would have to be passed on to motorists.

This is the warning of Norwich City Council, after another of the county's district councils introduced these options to parking meters in their area.

North Norfolk District Council has become the latest to give drivers an alternative option to rooting through their small change, bringing in an option to pay through a mobile application, QR code and text message.

And last month, Great Yarmouth Borough Council also introduced a mobile cashless service for pay machines in car parks, allowing people to may via an app or text message.

Cashless payments are also available in both South and West Norfolk, while in Breckland parking is free.

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However, in Norwich, the only way to pay for parking without coins is to park in one of the multi-storey car parks, with the 93 other pay machines only accepting 20 coins or fewer.

A spokesman for the city council said that this was because the machines had only recently been replaced - in 2014 - and these options were not available at this time.

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The spokesman said: 'Our multi-storey car parks offer a full-range of payment options, including cashless.

'Currently, however, our pay and display machines are cash only. The 93 machines we operate, including 71 on-street, were in dire need of replacement, which we did in 2014.

'Were it necessary to replace these today, the options there for us to choose from would be very different to four years ago.'

And were the council to decide to bring in these options, it would likely result in an increase in the price of parking.

The spokesman added; 'We are always looking at ways we can improve our parking facilities and this would include the ways we can accept payment.

'Removing, replacing or upgrading machines that have recently been replaced would be very costly - a cost that would need to be passed onto the driver and so any review would need to bear this in mind so the best solution is reached.'

The council currently runs three mutli-storey car parks - St Giles, St Andrew's and Rose Lane - along with 11 off-street sites.

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