More than 20 extra parking spaces could be brought to Southend seafront

Council leaders could approve plans to bring more than 20 parking spaces to Southend’s seafront through the removal of double yellow lines.

The proposals were originally suggested by Conservative councillors through a motion put forward in July and could see the creation of 21 new parking bays.

The extra spaces will come from the removal of double yellow lines at numerous locations including creating eight spaces under Pier Hill on Western Esplanade, a total of six outside Three Shells and The Marriotts Café, also on Western Esplanade, and another three on Eastern Esplanade.

An additional four space will be gained by removing a coach drop-off area outside the Alexandra Yacht Club.

The measures will be discussed during a cabinet meeting on September 17.

Councillor Ron Woodley, who oversees transport, said: “At the last full council meeting, we were challenged by fellow councillors to look into ways to create extra car parking spaces in several locations along the seafront area by removing yellow and white lines.

“We are a listening administration, which is why we tasked our highways team to conduct a feasibility study into freeing up spaces in several locations along the seafront area. It is this feasibility study that we will discuss on September 17.

“Though the numbers of extra parking spaces that could feasibly be created in this way is quite low, we appreciate there is a high demand on parking on busy days in high season and will keep that front of mind when we discuss the report next week.”

Another measure being considered is a proposal to reinstate the right-hand turn and straight-ahead manoeuvres at the Chancellor Road and Church Road junction in the area between the Seaways Car Park and the Royals Shopping Centre. It is hoped that this will improve connections between the seafront and the high street.

Speaking at the July council meeting Cllr Tony Cox, leader of Southend Conservatives, stressed the need for more parking on the seafront.

He explained: “During exceptionally busy period there is a shortage of spaces around the seafront area. The lack of parking capacity creates major congestions as cars circle round and round hunting for non-existent spaces.”

He added that the motion for extra parking was aimed at “maximising the space available” and said that it would send out a reassuring message to residents if councillors on all side of the chamber agree to the plans.

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Steve Shaw

Local Democracy Reporter