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Council rapped for Richmond Card e-purse loss
Richmond Card holders are angry at the council for scrapping their ability to top up the card with cash and use it to pay for parking.
Richmond Council will stop the card’s e-purse function as part of a number of changes being brought in for the new Richmond Card, which will launch next month.
The council said the e-purse was removed because it was a risk for people whose card was lost or stolen and could not be integrated at the same time as new services, which the council said were a priority.
The new smart card will combine three cards - parking, leisure and library - and will offer benefits including discounted residents’ parking and offers and discounts at local businesses.
The 30 minutes’ free parking will be continued, although this was not mentioned in a letter from leader of the council Lord True to the 35,000 card holders.
Card users said the e-purse was one of the most convenient and valuable features of the card and said they would now be forced to carry cash to pay for parking after the 30 free minutes.
Brian Holder, leader of the Teddington Society’s roads and transport group, said the society had always supported the card and expected it would eventually have further uses.
He said: “It is some disappointment that we now find that the new system cannot cope with electronic payment by e-purse for parking and for other services.
“It would certainly be helpful to motorists if the current Richmond Card could be continued in parallel with the new multi-use card until the system can be adapted to accept electronic payments.”
Other card users criticised the council for the lack of consultation over the changes and said the new card was a “glorified library card”.
Lord True said people could pay for parking with cash, debit or credit cards after the 30 free minutes.
See the letters page in this week's paper for his full response.
For more information on the changes, visit richmond.gov.uk/richmondcard.
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