Rushmoor is bringing in a new thief-proof gold card and vandal-resistant ticket machines for its car parks in Aldershot and Farnborough.

If the card is reported stolen, it will be automatically wiped the first time the thief tries to use it. The loser will be able to get the value of the stolen card put on a new card.

And if a vandal starts to damage the ticket machine, the machine will immediately alert the management office.

The new system is based on 73 new high tech ticket machines, costing £200,000, for the car parks. That figure includes machine maintenance for five years.

The new machines, supplied by Metric Group Ltd of Cirencester, can "talk" to a central management station to report ticket sales and machine faults as well as any attempt at vandalism.

The gold card replaces the Easycard. It is rechargable and drivers can pay for as much time as they like. If the card is lost, the council will issue a new one for about £10 and put the time already purchased on that card.

Any value remaining on the old Easycards can be transferred to the gold card and these can be bought at council offices in Aldershot or Farnborough.

The new machines are said to be far more reliable than the old ones and the management office will know immediately if there is any problem. Eventually the gold cards will also be able to be used for other council facilities.lDrivers using public car parks in Aldershot and Farnborough are forking out about £1.3 million a year - which equals the cost of running the car parks. The costs and the revenues are just about at break-even, said Rushmoor Council's car parks manager, Mike Bamber.

Rushmoor is bringing in a new thief-proof gold card and vandal-resistant ticket machines for its car parks in Aldershot and Farnborough.

If the card is reported stolen, it will be automatically wiped the first time the thief tries to use it. The loser will be able to get the value of the stolen card put on a new card.

And if a vandal starts to damage the ticket machine, the machine will immediately alert the management office.

The new system is based on 73 new high tech ticket machines, costing £200,000, for the car parks. That figure includes machine maintenance for five years.

The new machines, supplied by Metric Group Ltd of Cirencester, can "talk" to a central management station to report ticket sales and machine faults as well as any attempt at vandalism.

The gold card replaces the Easycard. It is rechargable and drivers can pay for as much time as they like. If the card is lost, the council will issue a new one for about £10 and put the time already purchased on that card.

Any value remaining on the old Easycards can be transferred to the gold card and these can be bought at council offices in Aldershot or Farnborough.

The new machines are said to be far more reliable than the old ones and the management office will know immediately if there is any problem. Eventually the gold cards will also be able to be used for other council facilities.

* Drivers using public car parks in Aldershot and Farnborough are forking out about £1.3 million a year - which equals the cost of running the car parks. The costs and the revenues are just about at break-even, said Rushmoor Council's car parks manager, Mike Bamber.