Free parking after 6pm has now officially returned to the popular seafront area.
Signage has been amended to reflect the changes in zone 1A with charges now only applicable from 8am to 6pm, rather than the previous 8am to 9pm. This brings the hours of charging in zone 1A back in line with the other parking zones across the City. The council’s website has also been updated to reflect these changes.
Any subsequent reduction in revenue will be offset by the creation of up to 448 additional car parking spaces along the seafront. This has the potential to generate over £0.5m in additional annual parking income.
Cllr Kevin Buck, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “I am delighted that we have quickly delivered on our key manifesto promise to reverse the damaging evening parking charges along the seafront, and bring back free parking from 6pm which will benefit our tourist trade and wider local economy.
“We want to encourage visitors to come and spend the whole day here and not for only as long as they can afford to park, and we want people to stay and use our local bars, restaurants and theatre for example.
“The revised charging time means that people arriving from 2pm will now only pay £11 for 4 hours up to 6pm, rather than £19.30 up to 9pm for example. Also, as a direct result of these changes, Adventure Island have confirmed they are extending their opening hours to 10pm during the summer holiday, which is a fantastic boost to our evening economy.
“Naturally there will be a reduction in income because of these changes but this will be offset by the creation of up to 448 new parking spaces we have planned for zone 1A. These will be created as quickly as possible, and we hope them to be in place no later than the school Easter break in 2024.”
Marc Miller, managing director of the Stockvale group of companies, who own and operate Adventure Island, Sealife Adventure and a number of other businesses along the seafront, added: “As chairman of the newly-formed Seaside Partnership, we have been working closely with the council to remove the 6pm to 9pm parking charges.
"The decision to remove these evening charges in time for the summer holidays and providing over four hundred much needed additional car parking spaces on and around the seafront is fantastic news.
"It really does demonstrate the importance of the Seaside Partnership and the council working together!"
Customers using council car parks can also take advantage of the Southend Pass, which can be used for up to three hours in each zone, per day. Visit our website for full details of all our car parking zones and updated charges as well as other parks that currently free to park.