Council removes free parking in Hornchurch roads three months after reintroduction

Havering Council has clarified that parking on two streets will not be free for the first 30 minutes after an administrative error caused confusion.

The council’s budget specified that on-street parking in Hornchurch would be free for that first half-an hour, but Park Lane and Kyme Road were apparently exempt.

After campaigning from councillors and shopkeepers, who said it would harm their businesses, the free-parking window was restored by Havering on March 8.

In a series of public notices, it was listed among roads in Upminster, Elm Park and others in Hornchurch.

Business owners and St Albans ward councillor Judith Holt welcomed the change. She stressed that the roads were in Hornchurch not Romford, where all on-street parking costs, telling the Havering Daily: “Small businesses are the life-blood of our local community and it is so important we support them.

“Our grateful thanks to the cabinet member for environment for correcting the mistake and acknowledging that Park Lane is in Hornchurch.”

However, the council has since said that the return of free parking was an error that it has now “corrected”.

A spokesperson for the authority told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS): “The original borough-wide notice issued contained all paid for parking locations. Unfortunately, following publication we realised that Park Lane and Kyme Road were included in the wrong section in error.

“Therefore, we have since issued new notices for these two specific locations which state that current paid parking arrangements will continue and that 30 minutes free parking does not apply to these roads.

“We apologise for any confusion or inconvenience caused.”

Cllr Holt said there was “no logic” to this change and told the LDRS: “There must be some mistake here.

“They’ve already said we’ve got the free half-hour back.”

Drivers wishing to park on Kyme Road or Park Lane will now need to pay £2.10 for the first hour. That rises to £4.40 for two hours, and £6.20 for three.

Parking remains free on Sundays.

Sebastian Mann

Local democracy reporter