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Switch to thicker 10p coins 'will cost £100m'

There are fears that millions will  struggle to use parking meters, vending machines and phone boxes when thicker coins are introduced in January.

The Treasury is set to introduce new 5p and 10p coins despite claims that the cost to the vending industry could be as much as £100million. It could also lead to higher council tax bills as local authorities face the costs of modifying over 400,000 parking meters.

The coins currently used are made from the nickel and copper alloy cupro-nickel, which has become more expensive in recent years as the price of copper has risen. The Government claims that switching to nickel-plated stainless steel would save £7million a year. The new coins are 11 per cent thicker, increasing from 1.7mm in depth to 1.9mm, and will not be recognised by meters, public phones and vending machines.

However, companies responsible for coin machines will not receive samples of the new currency until the 10th of September, and say it is impossible to change all the machines before the currency goes into circulation.

More on the story as it develops.

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