CAR parks around Test Valley will have brand new contactless payment machines from next month.

From November 9, the new machines will begin to be installed at all of the council’s car parks and it is estimated that it will take around two weeks to finish the work. The machines will enable contactless payment as well as card and cash options for users.

Full council approved the recommendation to replace the payment machines back in June to help make it easier for visitors to use the town centres and shop locally.

Planning portfolio holder, Councillor Nick Adams-King, said: “We recognise that contactless payment is a necessity in our town centres in this day and age and so it was something that we were keen to see happen.

“Having cash is now not as common as it used to be five or ten years ago so it was important we brought the borough up to speed. Hopefully this can help shoppers to use our car parks with ease and encourage more people to shop locally now that parking is simpler and more convenient.”

Andover’s Business Improvement District manager, Steve Godwin, added: “This is fantastic news for our town and meets one of the BID’s aims to encourage people to come into town and to stay for longer. With our range of parking already competitive with other towns and cities, this upgrade means that people won’t have to search for loose change.

“It will make it easier and convenient, encourage people to spend longer here and make an extra purchase. The investment by the council in the car parks together with the exciting proposed town centre masterplanning reinforces the message that Andover is alive and open for business.”

Romsey Town Centre Manager, Mark Edgerley, said: “The ability to make contactless payments will be a huge benefit to Romsey town centre users, no more searching for loose change, instead just tap and go into the town centre for your shopping, a coffee or maybe lunch.

“Making parking easier ensures visitors and residents alike can enjoy the facilities of the town while local businesses benefit from more customers.”

RingGo will continue to be offered in all council car parks as well as the cash, card and contactless payment methods. The two machines in the Chantry Centre which enable people to clock in and then pay on exit using a debit or credit card will also remain in place.