Cash for car parks – East Devon champions keeping coin slots on pay-and-display machines

Paying with cash in East Devon has been championed by the authority in favour of keeping coin slots on car park machines.

Cash is still king in East Devon’s car parks, where Councillors have resisted the trend towards making everyone pay by phone or mobile app, writes local democracy reporter Guy Henderson.

They want the district’s drivers to continue to have the option to pay with a handful of coins for years to come.

There are currently no plans to stop using cash in East Devon’s car parks, but district Councillors (EDDC) have got in ahead of the game to insist that coins will remain an option.

At a meeting of the full council last week, Cllr Peter Faithfull (Independent, Ottery St Mary) explained how he believed some motorists may not use banks.

He told colleagues: “Not everyone has a bank account, and they should be entitled to use the car parks.

“Some vulnerable residents do have issues. It might be simple for some people to use an app, but it isn’t for everyone. It is important that we keep cash available as an option.”

The meeting heard how millions of people across the country still rely on notes and coins, and the amount of cash being taken out of cash machines has risen since the pandemic.

Cllr Alasdair Bruce (Con, Feniton), who proposed the motion to keep the coin slots, added: “We need to send a clear message to visitors and residents, that East Devon is open for business, and by the way, we take cash and card.”

Cllr Bruce said there were no cost implications to the council in staying with cash, and Cllr Marcus Hartnell (Con, Seaton) added: “Although people’s use of cash reduced significantly during the pandemic, we have seen something of a revival.

“More and more people are starting to budget using cash.”

But members resisted setting a time limit on how long cash can still be used, and sent the matter to the council’s overview committee for more discussion.

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