On Tuesday, the new £1 coin is set to enter circulation in the UK and whilst it’s an exciting moment for many currency collectors, it’s set to induce chaos when it comes to Britain’s parking meters.
The coin is set to replace the traditional “round pound” that has been used for the past 30 years and there’s been a huge overhaul in the design. The new £1 coin has been released in an attempt to combat the counterfeit coins. The Royal Mint have said that approximately one in 30 of the current coins are counterfeit, and that they’re easy to replicate. The new coin has been dubbed as the “most secure in the world”.
Instead of the circular shape, the new £1 coin will have 12 edges – something that many parking meters, vending machines and other pay machine won’t accept.
Around a quarter of the nation’s pay and display machines are not expected to be ready for the introduction on March 28th, and drivers are being warned to carry the old pound coin as a back-up. The existing £1 coin will be accepted until 15 October this year.
The British Parking Association explained that parking spots in rural areas are the most unprepared for the change as many machines are too old to be modified. It’s estimated that the cost of modifying the machines could be as much as £50 million.
The Automatic Vending Association (AVA) said: “In 2011, the new 5p and 10p coins were introduced at a cost to the industry of £28.9 million and it is estimated that the upgrades required for the new £1 coin will cost approximately £32 million.”
The new coin change also means that millions of supermarket trolleys will need to be changed in order to accept the new shape, although many big-name brands have already completed this.
Slot machines and laundrette facilities will also need updating in order to accept the new £1 coin, proving that it’s causing chaos all over Britain.