Will the penny drop over new coin?

Neil Cairns of Leighton Buzzard'MPLO
Neil Cairns of Leighton Buzzard'MPLO

The Leighton Buzzard library photocopier and adjacent car park machines are leaving customers feeling short changed – as they keep rejecting new 10 pence coins.

Retired Leighton resident, Neil Cairns, who desperately wants to spend his pennies, feels he must resort to sticking his unaccepted coins onto his car windscreen to prove that he has attempted to pay the fees.

The photocopier and car park machines are having trouble identifying the new coins because, instead of being made of a copper-nickel alloy, they are now constructed of steel with a nickel coating, making them 11% thicker.

The new 10p coins, introduced in January 2012, also caused national unrest when it was feared that the bad pennies would cause upset for the 10% of the population who suffer from nickel allergies.

Neil said: “I’ve seen people standing in groups trying to figure out what’s wrong, and inevitably becoming angry and cursing.

“But it’s just typical because people have got so used to not complaining that nothing gets done! The photocopier has being doing this for over a year now and I’m just fed up.

“My wife, Janet, has also experienced problems, but none of what she says is repeatable!”

Central Beds Councillor Brian Spurr said: “We have had no reports of the pay and display machines in Hockliffe Street car park in Leighton Buzzard not accepting new 10p coins. All of our Pay and Display machines have had the coin selectors upgraded to accommodate the change of legal tender but if people are experiencing problems we would urge them to report this so that we can investigate.

“We’re aware that our library photocopiers do not accept new 10p coins and are sorry for this inconvenience to library users. We’re in the process up looking to upgrade all library photocopiers to MFDs, but the upgrade is planned on a phased basis.

“In the meantime, we will investigate individual upgrade costs for each photocopier but we’re anxious not to waste money by upgrading individual photocopiers for them to be replaced in a relatively short while.

“At the moment staff are able to occasionally offer old coins or use the manual settings to help people and we hope everyone who experiences this problem would let us know so that we can assist.”