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Thicker coins delayed until Jan 2012

The introduction of thicker 5p and 10p coins has been postponed until next January (2012) to avoid chaos at parking meters and vending machines.

The current coins – made from nickel and copper alloy, cupro-nickel – were to be originally to be replaced last month by those made from nickel-plated stainless steel in a bid to save money as global copper prices are driven up by demand from China and India.

Scheduled to be introduced in January 2011, we first discussed this change to thicker coins in September last year - read the article here.

In December it emerged that the coins had been delayed until at least April to provide sufficient time for modification of vending machines and over 400,000 parking meters prior to the change - read the article here.

Following the news of the January 2012 rollout, an HM Treasury spokesman said: “The implementation date of the change in composition has been moved back to January 2012, which will give affected industries sufficient time to update machinery and software to accept the new coins.”

A spokesman for the Royal Mint added: "As announced by HM Treasury and following consultation with industry, the change of 5p and 10p UK coins from cupro-nickel to a nickel-plated steel composition has been postponed until January 2012.With coins playing such an important role in our daily lives and everyday business transactions, the implications of any change to their composition or design need to be carefully considered."

"We will be working closely with HM Treasury and other organisations to ensure a smooth transition to the new coinage."