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Councillors debate benefits of introducing cashless parking machines in Havering

PUBLISHED: 07:00 25 January 2019

Councillors debated introducing more cashless parking machines in Havering. Photo: Ken Mears

Councillors debated introducing more cashless parking machines in Havering. Photo: Ken Mears

Archant

Councillors debated plans to introduce cashless parking machines in the borough at a full council meeting on Wednesday, January 23.

Councillors debated the benefits of cashless parking machines in Havering. Photo: Ken MearsCouncillors debated the benefits of cashless parking machines in Havering. Photo: Ken Mears

The Independent Residents’ Group submitted a motion for Havering Council to drop it’s proposals to remove 154 parking machines and convert the remaining 61 to cashless card/phone machines.

The motion stated that going cashless would deter people from parking and the upgraded machines would be subject to vandalism resulting in more costs for the council.

Councillor David Durant said: “In practice going cashless is intended to assist those who administer rather than people who use public services, and ends up costing money.

“Going cashless on the buses has lost TfL far more in revenue than gained from administrative savings and now they claim they have no money to install time of arrival countdown screens at busy bus stops.”

Cllr Roger Ramsey pointed out that the old machines needed to be replaced as they keep breaking down.

“We’ve had major problems [with the old machines] particularly in Hornchurch where sometimes three or four machines are not working,” he said.

“If anybody thinks that this is a problem that is going away they are fooling themselves.”

Cllr Clarence Barrett said: “We seem to be missing from these debates the fact that we have a great number of elderly people who have no idea what contactless cards are.

“We do not want to put these people off from visiting our high streets.”

However Cllr Tele Lawal disputed this point by suggesting that elderly members who carried around less cash would be safer.

Cllr Osman Dervish also mentioned safety as a benefit of cashless parking because council officers would not have to regularly transport money from the cashless machines.

The Labour Group suggested an amendment that called on the council to incorporate within its proposals the replacement of exiting machines with the gradual introduction of cashless machines.

However the chamber voted against this with 14 votes in favour and 33 against.

The Conservative Group’s amendment to welcome the upgrading of parking pay and display machines and the addition of contactless payment was carried with 32 votes in favour and only 16 against.

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