By Lyndsey Hall
The old, round pound coin will no longer be legal tender, according to the Treasury, from Sunday 15th October. However, many shops, supermarkets and car parks are still unprepared for the change.
Thousands of supermarket trolleys at smaller stores are yet to be updated to accept the new polygonal coin, as well as many car park ticket machines, leisure centre lockers and even some train station ticket machines.
The Royal Mint estimates that 1.2 billion old £1 coins will have been handed in by this weekend, but that leaves around 500 million still in circulation. After this Sunday, shops and restaurants are no longer supposed to accept the old coin, however many are announcing they will continue to do so for a while longer.
The Federation of Small Business, an organisation which represents around 170,000 SMEs across the UK, has advised its members to continue to accept the old coin. “Shopkeepers will not want to let their loyal customers down by saying they cannot pay with a round pound if they do not have any change,” said a spokesperson.
Amongst those shops intending to extend the acceptance period is Poundland, whose managing director Barry Williams said, “Providing an extra convenience for shoppers to lighten their pockets while doing the weekly shop rather than making a separate trip to the bank or post office will come as good news.” He called the move a “no-brainer”.
Banks will accept the old coin for a short period after it goes out of circulation, but this will be a temporary measure, according to the Treasury. They recommend spending or exchanging your old pounds before October 15th if possible.
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