Brentwood parking to see major change from July

Parking in Brentwood should hopefully become a little easier from next month, the local council has said. The town’s current parking payment situation has led to “deep frustration” for many with cash-only machines or an app that users find difficult to use after difficulties have arisen between the council and the current provider.

But automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras installed in the multi-storey at Coptfold Road are expected to be activated from the end of July while an improved parking app should be rolled out over the next six months, according to Brentwood councillor David Kendall.

A new payment system for the multi-storey had initially been due to be working by April this year, but due to operational issues that was pushed back.

The council has added it continues efforts to negotiate a release from contractual obligations over the running of parking machines from the current provider.

However, Councillor David Kendall said he was hopeful a new system –  similar if not the same as the one used in Chelmsford – will be rolled out by the end of the year. Currently in Brentwood payments can only be made with cash or a phone and pay system.

Cllr Kendall said: “I fully appreciate frustrations. It has taken a lot longer than we thought and were told.

“It is a cause of deep frustration for all of us. I do share residents’ frustrations. We want to get it sorted out.”

The council is planning to eventually roll out ANPR technology at all its car parks – thereby allowing people to pay after they leave.

Cllr Kendall said: “The whole idea is you stay for as long as you want to.”

He added the improvements will come as a supplement to its free on Sundays as part of their budget.

The free Sunday parking is available at William Hunter Way, Chatham Way, the Multi-Storey Car Park and Town Hall Car Parks. There is also a free three-hour parking limit at the Shenfield Car Parks.

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Piers Meyler

Local Democracy Reporter