Southampton council chiefs have defended their decision to install machines that do not give change on the Itchen Toll Bridge.

Bosses from Southampton City Council insist that if change or credit card payment were offered it would “significantly” slow down traffic, especially at peak times.

They added that members of staff would be on duty to help in exceptional circumstances where large amounts of change would be needed.

As reported in yesterday’s Daily Echo, motorists accused the council of trying to rip them off after it was revealed that automated machines replacing the toll booths on the Itchen Bridge will not issue change.

A spokesperson from the council said: “The approach we have taken with the automation is to focus on making the journey seamless and as smooth as possible through the toll plaza.”