AN expert claims that millions of British drivers "won't be able to park their cars".
Elderly drivers could be restricted from taking trips to town because they won't have the capacity to pay for parking.
As local authorities increasingly move to ‘pay by app' systems, pensioners without smartphones will find themselves high and dry at parking bays in the UK's towns and cities.
The move away from cash and card payments has been accelerated by mobile phone providers switching off 3G data networks, on which some parking machines operate.
The London borough of Bromley removed all its machines in April – even though 27 per cent of parking transactions were still conducted by cash in November 2022.
And Brighton and Hove City Council are scrapping all of its pay and display machines because they don't want to pay for the costly required updates.
In Harrow, all card and cash machines have also been removed, while other boroughs, such as Richmond, Merton and Barking, are starting the process of getting rid of their existing machines.
Currently, there are at least 30 different smartphone apps to pay parking charges.
Britain's biggest parking app is RingGo, with 19 million users, but other major players such as ParkMe, Parkopedia, Just Park, and PayByPhone are looking to expand.
While the younger generation of drivers with smartphones may well be unaffected by the proliferation of parking apps, there could be millions of elderly people who won't be able to pay for parking just because they don't have a smartphone.
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According to Ofcom, 68 per cent of those aged 65 or over use a smartphone to go online.
Jan Shortt, general secretary of the National Pensioners Convention, said: "The drive towards digital-only seriously disadvantages millions of older people who cannot afford smartphones, tablets or broadband to get online.
"We appreciate it is more convenient for councils and parking companies to opt for digital-only payments, but cash is still legal tender, and in the Queen's Speech, the government announced legislation to ensure that the option to pay by cash must remain.
"Technology is fine for most things, but when it excludes individuals from services, or does not work efficiently, then we have to ask why and especially if it is not compatible with the Equality 2010 Act that says goods and services must be accessible to all customers."
This comes after drivers were just realising they could be fined for using a parent and child bay – even if they have a kid with them.
Plus, drivers were issued an urgent warning after a pair of sunglasses caused a horror car fire.
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