Parking machines in Brighton and Hove are being replaced as the new 12-sided £1 coin begins circulation.
The new coin will enter circulation in March, so the 298 parking machines in the city will soon be out of date.
The move will see most parking machines in the city switched to pay-by-card - taking both chip-and-pin and contactless payments - but 150 of the new machines will accept coins as well.
Drivers will also still be able to pay for their parking by phone or in cash at any of the city’s 150 PayPoint outlets by quoting the location code for where they parked, which is displayed on machines and street signs.
Councillor Gill Mitchell, chairman of the environment, transport and sustainability committee said: “The introduction of the new £1 coin and the pressing need to replace our old on-street machines gave us an opportunity to introduce a better system. These changes will give us newer, more reliable and user-friendly machines, while maintaining the ability to pay in cash on street and at PayPoint outlets.”
The council said as well as issuing tickets in the traditional way, the new machines will require drivers to key in their registration number, which is set to make enforcement easier and more efficient. In future, it could also pave the way for a new app to help drivers find vacant on street parking spaces in the city.
The change to pay-by-card machines is part of a £1.8m investment to improve reliability and cut down on theft.
Figures show 95 per cent the UK’s population has a bank card, and a Citywide Parking Review survey showed that paying by card was the most popular choice of payment type in Brighton and Hove.
Another reason for the change, is that since 2008, £150,000 has been stolen from parking machines in the city. In a three-month period last year, there were 51 incidents of theft or attempted theft, netting thieves almost £15,000 and causing £30,000 of damage.
Brighton and Hove City Council said the contractors aim to install around 60 new parking machines a week and will be working hard to minimise any disruption.
Drivers are advised not to park in any bays with bright yellow suspension signs as these bays have been suspended to allow maintenance engineers access to the machines. The PayByPhone and PayPoint services will continue to operate as normal.