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Monday, 1 October 2012

Pay to park outside your home?


Living close to the centre of Rochford has many advantages, but one of the irritations for many residents - especially those without off street parking - is the challenge in finding a parking space.  Commuters, Purdeys Industrial Estate, office and shop workers all compete with residents for the few unrestricted parking spots that are within a walk of the station and centre.  It's not that there isn't parking available.  Both at the station and in Back Lane there always seem to be chargeable spaces available.  But I guess you can hardly blame people for trying to grab a freebie if it's available!  And the old argument that you don't own the road in front of your house still applies of course.  But it is definitely an increasing problem, and I have heard tales of residents almost coming to blows with owners of vehicles carelessly parking and blocking driveways, etc.

The Council is considering introducing some form of residents parking in the worst affected roads - including Rocheway.  50% or residents in the affected road have to support any such measures through responding to a Council Questionnaire which will be arriving shortly.  It's likely to include three options - no change, some form of residents permit, or, maybe a traffic order, for example restricting parking for an hour or more a day to deter those who are liable to leave their car for long periods.  It will be interesting to see how this proceeds.  Historically, Rochford has gone down the traffic order route but I understand a residents permit scheme is seriously on the agenda - if it garners enough support.  Of course there are pros and cons with all options - what happens with a residents scheme when family or relatives visit, etc - but a potential advantage for the Council in these cash stapped times would be the opportunity to make this a revenue earner.  Would, for example, a young family who constantly struggle to find a free parking space outside their home be willing to pay a relatively modest £2 or £3 monthly to have one fairly substantial source of stress removed.  I think the answer is obvious.

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