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Residents' parking scheme will continue for another year
2:30pm Monday 4th March 2013 in News
A POPULAR free parking scheme for residents in Tendring has been extended for another 12 months in a bid to boost trade.
The scheme, launched last summer, saw every council tax-paying household across the district given a permit to park in most Tendring Council car parks free of charge after 10am.
The council’s cabinet has now agreed to extend the scheme until April next year.
A “significant” number of traders had called for scheme to be scrapped in the peak summer season so spaces could be kept for tourists.
But council leader Peter Halliday said the idea of the £300,000 scheme was to offer something to residents and keep them happiest while also trying to make sure shopkeepers benefit throughout the year.
“Our residents seem very happy and the businesses seem very happy,” he said.
“It has resulted in a significant increase in footfall where people have been surveyed and it has achieved what we set out to do.
“While we are always aware of the green argument we need to be realistic and we need to be car friendly. We need cars in our High Streets and it is as simple as that.”
The permits currently run from 10am to midnight, but it has been changed to 11am in a bid to deter commuters and shop workers from parking, paying for one hour and using the permits to cover the rest of the day.
Alan Goggin, the council’s cabinet member for tourism, added that the scheme is also aimed at encouraging residents to visit other parts of their own district to spend money.
Sarah Candy, cabinet member for inward investment and growth, said the whole idea had been so popular that the council had received letters, cards and emails from people thanking them for introducing the scheme.
The council has set £300,000 aside to pay for the scheme, which will offset the lost revenue from the car parks.