The parking meters are going contactless

The old parking meters on the side streets either side of Lavender Hill are finally being replaced.  It’s good news as their functionality was, at best, mixed – several had been out of service for many months (in a few cases, years).  The alternative ‘pay by phone’ option left a great deal to be desired, meaning a lack of working meters was a headache for any visitor (whether to shops or residents).

In the short term, some areas are meterless as the electrical connections to the old meters are gradually disconnected (the new ones are solar powered, whereas the old ones were so ancient they predated cheap solar panels).

The new ones won’t take coins or cash – avoiding coin collection costs, hugely reducing the number of mechanical parts involved, and probably reducing theft / vandalism.  But they will take card payments (chip & contactless), which is likely to be preferred by many.  The new machines are quite a leap forward in technology, jumping straight from LCD time display to full colour solar display screens.

It’s hardly front page news, but as far as we can tell (through the frequency of being asked if we know of any working meters in the neighbourhood) these do get used a fair bit, so it’s good that they’re being made a bit more convenient.

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