CALLS for pay and display machines on council-run car parks in Barrow to give change have been knocked back.

Barrow Borough Council said the suggestion would require a major replacement of all its pay and display machines which would cost the council too much money to bring in.

The council runs eight car parks in total, offering around 950 short stay, long stay and contract spaces, along with 555 spaces free after 3pm.

At a council meeting, Cllr Rory McClure, leader of the Conservatives on Barrow Council, asked if the machines on council-run car parks could be adapted to give motorists change if they paid more.

“I parked up in a car park and was short of change and only needed to park up for a short period of time. It was £1.30 to park but I only had two pound coins so I had to pay £2,” he told a council meeting.

“There’s no change given by the machines and it’s not just me but other people have faced this,” said Cllr McClure.

“It would be good if this is something we could look at.”

Cllr McClure asked how much money the council estimated it made from people over-paying for parking and officials have pledged to look into the costs.

Cllr Brendan Sweeney, vice chairman of the council’s executive committee, suggested the council consider introducing “contactless” payments on its machines.

Cllr Sweeney, the Labour councillor for Parkside, said it was much easier if people did not have to worry about having the correct change.

Phil Huck, the council’s executive director, told councillors that people could pay by mobile phone which only charged the correct amount for parking.

He said: “We did look at this issue quite some time ago but the cost of replacing the machines on all the car parks was prohibitive. We did look at car parking where you pay-on-exit as well but that was equally costly.”

Council leader David Pidduck said many council car parks had machines that did not give change. “If it’s any consolation, I had to pay Lancaster City Council extra money for parking a fortnight ago because I didn’t have the right change either,” said Cllr Pidduck, the Labour councillor for Hindpool.

Barrow’s biggest car park is Portland Walk which has three levels and 483 spaces.