MORE than £25,000 has been spent by councils across Hampshire modifying outdated ticket machines to accept the new £1 coin, it has been revealed.
The 12-sided coin, which resembles the old threepenny bit, entered circulation this week and features hi-tech security features, including a hologram.
The Royal Mint claim the new coin is expected to be the most secure in the world and is thinner and lighter than the current issue of the £1.
Several councils in Hampshire have been forced to spend thousands of pounds on altering machines so they can accept it.
Work has been completed by Test Valley Borough Council to modify its 43 parking machines and six spare machines.
A spokeswoman said it has spent £1,325 on the upgrades.
Hampshire County Council has also spent more than £5,000 to update car parking machines it owns.
A spokesperson said: “Hampshire County Council is not responsible for on street or town centre parking charges but does charge for car parking on some of its own properties, such as country parks.
“We are in the process of updating 24 car parking machines at four country parks – Lepe, Manor Farm, Royal Victoria and Staunton – to accept the new £1 coins, at a total cost of £5,275.
“New car parking machines were installed at Queen Elizabeth Country Park in August 2016, which can already accept the new £1 coins.”
Elsewhere in the county, other councils also spent thousands of pounds upgrading their machines.
Eastleigh Borough Council spent £9,000 on upgrading its machines whereas New Forest District Council spent £8,200 on upgrading lockers in five health and leisure centres across the parish, and more than £1,000 to modify its parking ticket machines.
A spokeswoman said: “We replaced the vast majority of our car park ticket machines in the past three months and so the new ones were already set up to take both coins.
“The six remaining ticket machines we did not replace cost £198 per machine to set up for the new coin – £1,188 in total.”
A Southampton City Council spokesman added the authority re-calibrated its machines at “no additional cost” as the work was carried out in-house.