Part of the rather thin justification for getting rid of parking meters was the cost of dealing with vandalism and repairing machines. Nowhere did Mr Mustard see any document from the council setting out what steps they had taken to prevent vandalism (which wasn't quantified and probably not as bad as made out).
Whilst in Carcassone at New Year Mr Mustard noticed this machine in a public car park (he had himself parked the blogger bus on the other side of the car park, about 10m down a hill where it was free to park (why pay when you can walk the extra 10m?).
So here is a parking meter which is installed inside a solid metal cage. This both discourages casual vandalism as power tools will be needed for any attack and makes the cash box within much more secure. You can see the cctv camera on the right hand outside of the cage. There was another on the left hand side. It seems likely that vandalism of any of these machines in remote locations will have virtually ceased. Graffiti is common in France. There was none on this machine.
In addition the meter accepts cash in the form of notes or coins (the first hour was free) and credit cards.
What a pity that those in charge at Barnet Council didn't have sufficiently open minds to look at other options when they removed the meters. Maybe they will start to think for the future once they read this blog post.