Motorists are being warned about payment changes to off-street parking meters in four council-run Bath city centre car parks.

From 30 July, Bath & North East Somerset Council is changing the card payment pads on meters in Charlotte Street, Manvers Street, Avon Street and Kingsmead Square car parks.

A council spokesperson said that due to current Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) the council is required to remove the existing chip and pin facility and replace it with contactless payment.

The work to change the payment pads will take up to three-days to complete.

Once finished, it means there will be two meters in Avon Street which will accept cards (contactless), one in Manvers Street, one in Kingsmead Square, and two in Charlotte Street. The remaining machines will still accept coins but not cards.

The spokesperson added: “All updated machines will have cash and contactless card payments and because of an upgrade to the network the contactless payment transactions will be quicker using 3G which means they should be successful first time.

“However [we are] encouraging drivers to ditch cash and card and switch to the MiPermit cashless parking system which means drivers can even pay for their parking before setting off or pay from the comfort of their own car when they pull into a space – avoiding having to queue at a meter.”

Charlotte Street car park in Bath – image copyright: Rob Purvis

Bath & North East Somerset Council car park staff will be available from 2 August to 5 August during the peak times for card transactions in Avon Street and Charlotte Street car parks to help motorists if they have any payment issues and to explain about the MiPermit app.

The changes mean chip and pin won’t be available in those four car parks until later in the year when the option will become available.

Councillor Mark Shelford, cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “The card payment method is changing partly because we need to meet PCI DSS compliance but also to help speed up transaction times for drivers.

“There is still the cash option, however we are recommending people sign up to MiPermit which is by far the quickest, most convenient way to  pay for parking.

“There are lots of benefits to it not least that it is cashless, no queuing at a meter and it is flexible so you can even add time onto your stay if you need to park for longer without having to run back to a machine and put more money in.

“We will have staff in Avon and Charlotte Street car parks on hand to help motorists out and to advise about the MiPermit app to make the transition as smooth as possible.”

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