Changes to Cash Payments in Our Car Parks

Status: Current

We would like the views from our car park users on our proposals to relocate cash payments from Rother District Council owned car park machines to PayPoints. We propose to stop our ticket machines from taking cash but they will continue to take both contactless and credit/debit card payments. Instead, people using our car parks could pay in cash at nearby PayPoints which are located, in local shops and businesses. This consultation relates to our 2024/25 budget and previous budget consultation.

Currently, we take payment in coins in 17 of our car parks. We also accept payment by credit/debit card, RingGo app on mobile phones and RingGo automated phoneline. Using PayPoints to pay for parking is already an option for car park users.

Every year, fewer and fewer people pay by cash. Our breakdown was 40% by RingGo, 30% in cash and 30% by credit or debit cards. However, in the first quarter of 2023/24 cash payments fell by 25% on the same period in 2022/23.

This is the right time to consider changing all cash payments to PayPoint locations. The Council pays £30,000 a year to collect cash from the ticket machines. The contract to collect the cash ends in 2024 and a new contract is likely to cost significantly more. 

The Council needs to save money. It has a £3.8 million funding gap in the 2024/25 budget. We are considering every possible saving.

We considered three options. The council’s preference is for option one.

Options under consideration

Option 1

Relocate all cash payments to local PayPoints for all pay and display machines in all car parks.

All car parks are within 0.2 miles of a PayPoint.  Camber car parks are within 0.4 miles but only 2% of payments are made in cash. 

There is a grace period given to motorists to enable them to pay to park.  Motorists do not have to return to their vehicle or the car park once they have paid at a PayPoint.  

Removing the coin mechanism from all 34 pay and display machines would be a one-off cost of £9,500 and updating signage would cost around £500.

.  Detailed maps would be put up in car parks to help customers find the nearest PayPoints.

Some Blue Badge holders (for disabled drivers) can apply for permits to park in any of our car parks in any bay without a fee. They are eligible if they are in receipt of higher rate mobility allowance of the Personal Independent Payment, if they are registered blind or are in receipt of a war pension. Therefore, these customers will not be affected. Other drivers with mobility problems might be affected.

The Council is setting up more options for flexible, shorter term parking permits as a cost-effective alternative. 

The benefits would be:

  • Carbon emissions will reduce by 5 to 6 tonnes a year if we remove the cash collections.
  • £30,000 annual saving to the Council’s budget.
  • More local businesses offering PayPoint facilities and increased business through car park customers using PayPoints.

The drawbacks would be:

  • All car park users choosing to pay by cash would have to go to a nearby PayPoint to pay their car parking tariff.
  • We have identified that some vulnerable customers may be negatively impacted including those technologically excluded, without a mobile phone or credit or debit cards and residents with mobility problems, as recognised by our Equalities Impact Assessment.

Option 2

The same as option one except to keep cash payments at the De La Warr Pavilion car park in Bexhill, the Mount Street car park in Battle and the Upper Market car park in Battle.

These three car parks have between 27% (DLWP) and 41% (Mount St) of payments in cash. Again, the use of cash is falling year on year.  The remaining car parks would be card-only machines with cash payments by PayPoint.

Mount Street and Upper Market car parks (Battle) are the only charged-for car parks where a one-hour stay is the most popular tariff. The most popular tariff at the De La Warr Pavilion car park is one to two hours stay.  Short stays are more likely to be paid by cash.

The advantages of this option are:

  • Customers could still pay in cash at the three car parks that account for half of the cash payments in council owned car parks.  There would be less impact on vulnerable customers but only at these locations.
  • Some reduction in costs to the council.
  • A reduction in CO2 emissions.
  • Some use of local businesses for PayPoint

The disadvantages of this option are:

  • A reduction in the advantages listed for option one.
  • Most of the costs are fixed costs. Reducing the service, like removing some sites or collecting less often, would not necessarily result in significant savings.  We also might get less interest from businesses because the cash collection contract would be much smaller.

Option 3

No change, renew the cash collection contract in 2024 as scheduled and in similar terms.

The advantages of this option are:

  • No adverse impact on customers who want to pay in cash.
  • A new contract may give us an opportunity to negotiate a reduction in carbon emissions. 

The disadvantages are:

  • The council makes no savings, costs increase, and the council would not meet the financial stability programme. This means a reduction in another part of the service or different service in order to provide a balanced budget.
  • We expect an increase in costs to the contract from 10% to 15%. This is due to the normal uplift in costs in new contracts and the rise in inflation.
  • The current contract is in partnership with Eastbourne Borough Council and Hastings Borough Council.  This partnership allowed the contract to be the best value for money. If either or both councils do not renew it would increase the cost of the new contract beyond 15%.
  • We could include environmental impacts as part of the procurement process, but the Council can’t achieve the same carbon savings with this option.

Additional Information

This consultation does not apply to on-street car parking.  This council is not in charge of parking on streets or charges for on-street parking. All enquiries regarding on-street parking should be directed to East Sussex County Council.

You can read our full Cabinet report ‘Cash Payment Options in Rother District Council Car Parks’.

You can read more about PayPoint here: https://paypoint.com/

PayPoint Locations and Maps

Locations of Car Parks and the nearest PayPoint Locations have been included under headings for each town below. Yellow Markers represent PayPoint Locations, with Blue Markers representing Car Parks.

Clicking on each marker will reveal further detail about the location.

Battle

Car ParkPostcodeNearest PayPointPostcodeDistance
Lower MarketTN33 OSBJempsonsTN33 0XBLess than 0.1 mile
Mount StreetTN33 0EGCo-OpTN33 OAGLess than 0.1 mile
Upper MarketTN33 OXBJempsonsTN33 OXBLess than 0.1 mile

Bexhill-on-Sea

Car ParkPostcodeNearest PayPointPostcodeDistance
De La Warr PavilionTN40 1DPCo-op, Devonshire RoadTN40 1AS0.14 mile
Eversley RoadTN40 1HECo-opTN40 1AS0.05 mile
Little CommonTN39 3TGFinest Mini-MartTN39 4PE0.17 mile
Manor Barn & GardensTN40 2JAManor News (shop)TN40 2HE0.15 mile

Camber

Car ParkPostcodeNearest PayPointPostcodeDistance
Camber CentralTN31 7RHBJs on the BeachTN31 7RJ0.09 mile
Camber WesternTN31 7RBBJs on the BeachTN31 7RJ0.36 mile

Rye

Car ParkPostcodeNearest PayPointPostcodeDistance
Bedford PlaceTN31 7LPCostcutterTN31 7LPLess than 0.1 mile
Cinque Ports StreetTN31 7ANJempsons BudgeonsTN31 7AB0.09 mile
Gibbet MarshTN31 7DTPremierTN31 7BH0.16 mile
Lucknow PlaceTN31 7LPCostcutterTN31 7LPLess than 0.1 mile
Rye Sports CentreTN31 7NDJempsons BudgeonsTN31 7AB0.15 mile
The StrandTN31 7DBJempsons BudgeonsTN31 7AB0.18 mile

How to Have Your Say

You can submit your views to this consultation by clicking the button below.

This consultation closes at midday on 17th January 2024.  Late responses are at risk of not being included in the findings and might not be considered by the Members of the Council when making a decision.

Please email us on consultations@rother.gov.uk for any questions or for longer submissions.

Or, you can download a printable copy of the survey below and post to us at Car Park Cash Payment Consultation, Rother District Council, Town Hall, Bexhill-on-Sea, TN39 3JX

What Happens Next

The members of the council will consider these results at Cabinet in February 2024.

Updates or progress reports will be added to this article.

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