Drivers will be able to make cash or card payments at all Gosport Borough Council car parks by early next year.

Many car parks had their payment machines removed earlier this year as part of a switch to payment by phone or app, using the MiPermit system.

But drivers have not taken to the system as much as the council had hoped, and machines will return to the 12 car parks that no longer have them.

Before the machines were removed, the biggest proportion of car park income came from contactless card transactions. This is still the case. The proportion of payments received through MiPermit has almost doubled. And this type of payment has overtaken cash. But although cash now makes up the smallest proportion, it still accounts for about 25%.

Cllr Peter Chegwyn, Leader of the Council, said: “It seems clear from our figures that drivers want to keep cash and card payments. Although the proportion of payments by MiPermit has increased. The take-up has not been as great as we had hoped. Cards still seem to be the most popular method of payment, and there’s still a significant number of people who prefer cash.

“Local drivers have shown what they prefer, and we’re happy to listen to that message and change our policy.”

The council has 24 car parks where fees are charged. Half of these do not have a cash or card payment option. The council will buy some new machines and refurbish some old ones to ensure all car parks take cash or card payments by around March next year.

The first hour at town centre short-stay car parks will stay free.