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Cash is top choice for parking payments

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Older drivers and those from low-income households prefer to use cash to pay for parking rather than a card or an app, research shows.

More than half (56 per cent) of people 65 and over said their top payment preference is physical cash, according to the survey by the AA.

Three fifths (62 per cent) of those from low-income families said cash was their first choice.

Younger drivers on the other hand are happy to shun notes and coins, with half (49 per cent) of 18-24-year-olds saying their first choice for parking payments is contactless, followed by Chip & Pin and then apps.

Pay by phone was the last resort across all ages.

Many local authorities changed their policies to allow cashless payments only during the height of the pandemic.

Some councils said moving to cashless options reduced costs as it saved on repairs and meant thieves could not steal the cash sat in the machine.

According to the report, older drivers and low-income households prefer to manage their budgets with cash and want the flexibility to pay for parking with coins.

The AA is calling on councils to retain pay by cash parking machines to ensure drivers of all ages and backgrounds can access local shops and facilities.

Jack Cousens, head of roads policy for the AA, said; “For now, cash remains king when paying for parking, however, a speedy transition to an increasingly cashless society is paving a way that could threaten to lock older drivers and low income households out of their town centre.”

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