PLANS to extend a free parking scheme for residents in Tendring have been welcomed by traders.

Tendring Council bosses want to continue the scheme for a third year.
Every council tax-paying household in the district is given a pass to park for free in most council-owned car parks after 11am in a bid to encourage people to shop locally.

Clacton Town Partnership chairman Darren Bradwell said: “It will be great for shoppers.

“My cafe is right next to Clacton’s High Street car park.

“When the scheme first started – with a 10am start – in 2012 we noticed how many people would come in at 10am.

“Then when it charged to 11am we saw an influx at that time.

“It just shows how many people would use the free car parking to shop in Clacton."

He added: “People don’t want to go shopping in a town if they have to pay £8 for parking.

“If they know they can park for free it encourages them to come into town and spend in the shops.

“It’s also a great scheme as it is giving something back to residents who pay council tax, as well as having a positive effect on business.”

Tendring Council has set aside £300,000 to pay for the scheme for a third successive year.