MORE than £200,000 is to be spent upgrading a council’s parking meters.
Havant Borough Council has 52 pay-and-display meters which are now which are more than 10 years old and some spare parts are no longer available for repairs.
It is cheaper to spend £200,000 and do the whole borough in one hit, rather than piecemealCouncillor Tony Briggs
The council’s cabinet has now agreed to replace them all, rather than keep on repairing them, and the decision looks as if it will be agreed at this week’s full council meeting.
Speaking at the recent cabinet meeting Councillor Tony Briggs said: ‘The present ones are old and parts to repair them are difficult to find.
‘That leads to downtime, which affects our income.
‘It is cheaper to spend £200,000 and do the whole borough in one hit, rather than piecemeal.’
Parking meters provide an average annual income to the council of almost £1.2m.
The present ones only take coin payments and the new ones will be able to accept credit, debit and coin payments.
The council says it also needs parking meters which can provide data to allow it to review charges each year – such as number of paid parking sessions and the dates and times of parking sessions.
Other options put forward – including doing nothing at all and trying to source parts – were ruled out because of the effect on revenue.
On average there are 10 meter faults a month. Cllr Briggs said new meters would improve customer services.
East Hampshire District Council, which works in partnership with Havant, has also approved new parking meters.
Councillors have agreed to spend £110,000 replacing 27 out of date and obsolete coin-only meters in its 13 council-run car parks.
The council has already been testing a new meter in Petersfield’s central car park, and will now extend the scheme across its car parks in the district.
Councillor Richard Millard, who is responsible for commercial contracts, said: ‘Our car parks are a vital part of our infrastructure so it is very important that we keep up to date with technology.
‘The new meters will give people the best and easiest experience whether they are out shopping, on a business trip or visiting as tourists.’