Parking meters in Otley are to be replaced – because they won’t accept some 10p coins.
Councillor Barry Anderson (Con, Adel & Wharfedale) found out about the issue after following up complaints from several residents who had encountered problems.
He was told by Leeds City Council that the existing meters have been rejecting 10p coins that were produced in 2012 or later because they are made of a different metal.
The council plans to install the new machines in about six weeks’ time.
Coun Anderson said: “This is very inconvenient for anyone who wants to use the car parks in Otley.
“Personally, I had no idea there were different 10p coins post-2012 and the highways department should have put a contingency in place. Unless people are carrying copious amounts of change around with them and checking the dates of the coins before they set off, it makes parking even more stressful than it is already.
“I am also concerned that visitors to the town may just decide to go somewhere else and thus the shops in Otley will lose trade. There may also be an issue of people deciding to park in inappropriate locations instead.
“I have not been advised how much the new machines are costing but I hope that the cost/benefit ratio is worth it.”
Highways says the acquisition of the new meters had been postpoined until consultations over a parking shake-up in Otley were completed, and there was then a further hold-up due to supply issues.
The department’s reply to Coun Anderson said: “The issue is that the parking machines in Otley do not accept 10p coins produced from 2012. They are made of different metal and they aren’t recognised as legal tender by the coin readers. “We have ordered new machines for Otley as the existing ones are no longer in production and it is not possible to get upgraded coin readers for them.
“They are manufactured to order rather than stock items and there has been a delay.”
It added that since most 10p coins in circulation were produced before 2012, and that newer 20p coins are still accepted by the current meters, it was not deemed “necessary” to lift charges until the new equipment was in place.