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Plans to allow residents to park anywhere in Southend for less than £10 a month have been given the green light by council bosses in the biggest shake-up of parking in decades.
The scheme will be known as Southend Pass and will cost motorists £8.50 every month to park for three-hour periods anywhere in Southend.
When council bosses met to discuss the plan during a cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the idea was hailed as “pro-car, pro-business and pro-Southend”.
Councillor Ron Woodley, who oversees transport, said: “This has been a long time coming. We as a council are now beginning to realise we need to treat residents first and make sure whatever we do has the view of residents and their ambitions in mind.
“This is the start of the that. It is not the finished article but we are going to bring the Southend Pass parking in from next April and I would like to street to residents they should sign up to this. We will be having signs in car parks from the beginning of October and we will be asking you to sign this.
“It represents good value for money.
“It is £8.50 per month and people can come in as often as they want for 30 days or 31 days depending on the month, every day you can go to Leigh, the town centre, along the seafront, over to your local shopping area, and that will all be for the same price.”
Anyone who signs up for the pass will be expected to sign up for a 12-month period and it will be available even to people living outside the borough.
Cllr Woodley explained the car number plate “will be the permit”.
Cllr Martin Terry said: “I really, really welcome this scheme. This is pro-car, it is pro-resident and pro-Southend. It is a fantastic scheme.
“In the past Southend has led the country on certain innovative ideas and I thank councillor Woodley for being very determined to push on with this scheme because it is really fantastic.
“It is innovative and it will help businesses tremendously.”
He added it is “the first scheme of its type in the country”.