The £1 Switchover Didn't Exactly Go Smoothly

By Tom Pritchard on at

According to the Royal Mint, the old round-edged pound coin is no longer designated as legal tender - and hasn't been since 11.59 on Sunday night. But as you might expect things haven't gone particularly smoothly, because the world just wasn't ready for the new pound coin.

The Telegraph reports that thousands of parking ticket machines across the country haven't been updated to take the new pound coin, which means people who actually paid attention to the deadline are at risk of having the wrong change - meaning they'll have to use one of those horrendous mobile parking systems or risk getting a ticket.

The paper claims that 5,000 machines across the country have yet to be updated, serving around 30 to 200 spaces each. According to the British Car Association certain councils, apparently low on funds, have no plans to update the machines until February - the month parking ticket machines are due to undergo compulsory maintenance checks. The organisation claims that this will lead to nearly 200,000 extra parking fines over the next four to five months.

Councils are reserving the right to fine parkers who don't pay for tickets because of the out of date machines, and seem to be well within their rights to do so. So it you are planning on parking anywhere, make sure you have lots of change.

Meanwhile some retailers have reportedly been giving out the old pound coins in change, even after the deadline. The stores accused of this, including McDonald's, Tesco, and Holland & Barrett, claim that these incidents are isolated.

There are reports that some retailers are continuing to accept the old pound coins without question, even if the company hadn't directly announced that it would be doing so. That includes TfL ticket machines, and naturally a number parking ticket machines. So if you still have any left over you might as well try and spend them.

John Lewis and Waitrose have both announced they will be accepting the old coins until the end of the day on Sunday (22nd), and Iceland will be taking them until the end of the month. [The Telegraph]

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