Shropshire Star

New parking machines to take card payments in Shropshire by 2018

Parking machines across Shropshire may have only just been changed to accept the new £1 coin, but that upgrade is likely to be well surpassed within a year for all areas of the county.


High-tech, solar-powered, "intelligent" pay and display machines, that will accept credit card and contactless payments and allow motorists more flexibility in the timing of their parking, should be a common sight across the region by the tail end of 2018.

Shropshire Council announced last week that all on-street and car park pay and display machines in Shrewsbury, Ludlow, Bridgnorth, Much Wenlock and Church Stretton had been upgraded to accept the new £1 coin, but as long as the council's draft parking strategy is radically changed following the current consultation, the new machines are likely to be rolled out along with changes to car parking charges between December and November 2018, it has been revealed.

The installation is likely to follow five phases of roll-out suggested for the new strategy, starting with Shrewsbury this winter, Ludlow in spring 2018, then Bridgnorth and Oswestry over next summer and all other areas next autumn.

Andy Boddington, Shropshire councillor for Ludlow North said it was good news for the town.

He said: "The pay and display machines currently used in Ludlow’s car parks and streets are somewhat primitive. Most of them rely on mains power and that means digging up streets and tarmac to lay power cables. The new machines will be solar powered.

"The existing machines do not take cash or credit cards. The replacements will allow you to insert or tap a card to pay – as well as paying by coin. That is essential as we progress towards a cashless society. It will bring an end to the annoying hunt for small change when arriving to park in Ludlow.

"Most of us have experienced the stress of rushing back to the car having spent rather too long on a last coffee.

"At the moment, drivers must pay to park in Ludlow when they arrive rather than when they leave. The new machines will have the potential to 'check in, check out'. Drivers will enter their registration when on arrival but they will only need to pay on leaving. This scheme is already in place in many areas of the country, including Newcastle."

Steve Brown, highways and transport manager with Shropshire Council, said: “We’re continually working to improve our parking service and an important part of this is to introduce the latest technology to make it quicker and easier for people to pay to park.

“We’re really pleased new machines that will accept electronic payments are set to be rolled out across all of our car parks from next spring and I’m sure that drivers will welcome their arrival.

“More information about the machines and their installation is due to be announced in the coming weeks.”

Some new terminals have already been installed in Shrewsbury town centre and in Bridgnorth.