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Pay-and-display car park machines to be switched off

Pay-and-display machines in most Gosport Borough Council car parks are to be switched off and removed, with drivers asked to use their mobile phones for payments instead.

Machines will be shut down around the borough between May and September. During May, short-stay town centre car parks will be among the first to switch to mobile-only payments.

Nine of the 37 machines will be kept. But at most sites, drivers will be asked to use MiPermit — a way of paying using a mobile, which is already in place in council car parks.

The council says the move will save thousands of pounds of public money, as the machines are becoming increasingly expensive to maintain and operate. And if the council were to keep all its machines, it says they would soon need expensive upgrades. This is because they rely on the 3G phone signal, which is being phased out.

MiPermit gives drivers the options of paying by text, QR code, automated phone line, smartphone app or via a website. Payments can also be made by speaking to an assistant on MiPermit’s helpline. A smartphone is not necessary.

During May, all machines in short-stay town centre car parks will be switched off. The first hour of parking at these sites will stay free, and MiPermit payments will only be needed for longer stays. Machines at Hardway Slipway and No 2 Battery East will be shut down at the same time.

Machines at other car parks will be switched off in phases, with the process due to be completed by the end of the year.

The nine remaining machines will be at the following car parks: Walpole Park (two machines), Pebble Beach, Gilkicker, No.2 Battery West, Beach Road, Marine Parade, Alver Valley Country Park East and Alver Valley Country Park West.

Cllr Peter Chegwyn, Leader of the Council, said: “Many people are already using MiPermit.

“I appreciate that for most people it’s a change. But in the current financial climate we need to save taxpayers’ money wherever we can, and this will save council taxpayers about £30,000 per year.”

A 10p service charge is added to MiPermit transactions.

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