Concerns over cashless parking in Cirencester spark calls for re-think

PAYING to park with cash could be returning to the Cotswolds as civic chiefs say they are open to a re-think.

Cotswold District Council decided to remove cash payments from their car parks in 2022 in a bid to reduce their carbon footprint and stop theft and vandalism.

Since then, ticket machines are only able to take payment via card, app or on the phone.

But now council leaders say they will explore introducing alternative ways of paying to park using cash.

Councillor Daryl Corps (C, Moreton West) raised the issue was raised at full council on Wednesday, July 19.

He said: “There are many people who do not have a smartphone or are unsure of how to pay on a website or are frankly scared of using their debit or credit card on a machine in public, or simply don’t use credit cards.

“This is particularly true of the elderly and vulnerable.”

He asked economy and council transformation cabinet members Tony Dale (LD, Northleach) if he would explore the possibility of cash payment for the more vulnerable members of the Cotswolds to be reinstated.

“Surely we have a duty about care for all residents and visitors to the Cotswolds, not just the tech savvy few,” Cllr Corps said.

Cllr Dale said the issue of parking and being cashless is a concern to him. And said he checked eight different car parks before the meeting to see if there were any issues.

He said: “I feel strongly that all of us should have access to parking. It’s not a decision ever taken lightly when we move to cashless parking but it is, I’m sad to say, a reflection of the modern world that we are having to move that way.

“I’m quite comfortable at the moment through all the technology we have.

“We have pay by phone, we have tap to pay. I even went to the trouble to check with car parks. I went to eight today to do a personal check that machines are working and clients, consumers, customers and visitors are all using them.

“I actually observed no one who was unable to pay or walked away. But I share your concern about is there some way we can help people who feel completely suckered by not being able to pay by app or by tap to pay.

“I gather there are a number of councils who have used this paypoint process which is available at local shops. I’ve asked officers to have a look at that.”

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