A Nutty Way to Pay For Parking

| September 25, 2013

chestnutsBefore many old-school meters were updated to accept payment by credit cards, I often scrounged around in my car and the bottom of my purse looking for change to pay to park.

If I were in England, I could pony up the money by just looking around outside.

The Town Centre Car Parks is temporarily accepting horse chestnuts for parking at a rate of 20 pence — or 32 cents — a piece, according to an Associated Press report.

The week-long campaign, dubbed “Bonkers for Conkers,” was scheduled to end on Sunday, according to the AP report, but a company spokesman says the campaign may be extended until Thursday. Conkers is a nickname for the chestnuts, which is named after a traditional schoolyard game played in Britain and Ireland. The nut, or conker, is threaded onto a piece of string and the children take turns striking each other’s conker until one breaks.

The chestnuts are only being accepted at staffed parking lots. Automated ticket machines won’t accept the chestnut because they do not fit in the coin slots. Nearly 1,500 conkers had been collected, according to the AP report, but the company has not yet decided what to do with the nuts.

Town Centre Car Parks said the project aimed at raising awareness about carbon emissions from cars and it plans to sponsor a forest to help offset carbon emissions, according to the AP report.

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