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New £1 coin set to cause havoc as retailers struggle to update machines in time


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The new £1 coin is designed to be the most secure in the world

The new 12-sided £1 coin is set to cause havoc for shoppers as retailers struggle to update their vending and other cash-receiving machines in time. Councils have also warned parking meters will cause problems as cash-strapped local authorities foot the bill for any changes.

Millions of vending and parking machines will have to be adapted to enable them to accept the new coins. The changeover will be complicated by the fact that there will be a six month overlap, as the old coins, which have been in circulation since 1983, continue to be legal tender.

It is believed around 40 per cent of cash-receiving machines will need to have their coin mechanisms physically removed and updated.

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The Treasury has warned all retailers and vending machine operators to prepare for the new coin, which will be introduced in March 2017. The government started a campaign on Monday to raise awareness of the adaptations required. Those affected are urged to go to thenewpoundcoin.com.

The Automatic Vending Association said it expects the changes to cost £100m for the industry.

Adam Lawrence, chief executive of The Royal Mint, added: “We are hugely proud of the new 12-sided £1 coin, which has been designed using cutting edge technology at our South Wales site.

“We would encourage business owners to visit the website as soon as possible, to find out how the new £1 coin could affect their business and what steps they need to take to prepare for the launch of the coin in March 2017.”

A Local Government Association spokesman said: “Councils have experienced substantial budget reductions and adapting parking metres is likely to be a further cost burden.”

The Royal Mint has provided samples of the new coins to vending machine makers so they can update their machines before the changes take place.

David Gauke, the chief secretary to the Treasury, said: “The pound as we know it will not be round for much longer. The introduction of this new £1 coin will be a highly significant event and we are working with the Royal Mint to ensure key industries are ready and to ensure a smooth transition.

“The new £1 coin will be the most secure of its kind in the world and its cutting-edge features will present a significant barrier to counterfeiters, reducing the cost to businesses and the taxpayer.”

Jonathan Hart, chief executive of the AVA, told the Guardian he was confident that the nation’s machines would be ready.

“We will continue our work to ensure that members of the vending industry are fully informed and prepared for the changes in order that the transition be as smooth as possible,” he said.

Adam Lawrence, chief executive of The Royal Mint, added: “We are hugely proud of the new 12-sided £1 coin, which has been designed using cutting edge technology at our South Wales site.

“We would encourage business owners to visit the website as soon as possible, to find out how the new £1 coin could affect their business and what steps they need to take to prepare for the launch of the coin in March 2017.

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