Thorpe Bay parking charge plan dropped

Plans to introduce parking charges on Eastern Esplanade have been scrapped by Southend’s new administration.

The introduction of pay and display machines on the eastern side of the seafront sparked anger among Thorpe Bay residents, and seafront hotels whose guests use the bays.

The bays were previously free throughout the day, but under the proposals would be charged from 8am until 9pm.

At a traffic regulations working party and cabinet committee meeting on Thursday the Labour-led joint administration confirmed it would not be going ahead and said it should not have been included in budget papers.

Daniel Cowan, leader of the council said: “With regard to charging on Eastern Esplanade there are no plans for this administration to do that and we will scrap the appalling idea of the previous administration who introduced that.

“Eastern Esplanade was not explicitly in the budget. Parking revenue was on the budget but Eastern Esplanade, those charges were introduced after the budget was passed and they were introduced in an improper manner.”

Martin Terry, Independent councillor for Thorpe ward, opposed the schee. He said: “This part is completely unique, there is a reason these bays are free.

“The knock-on effects haven’t been thought about. When the budget was discussed, this was not mentioned at all.”

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Christine Sexton

Local Democracy Reporter