Havering’s Conservative Administration have performed a spectacular ‘back track’ on parking charges!

A recent Executive Decision, dealt with under ‘Special Urgency’ powers (thus allowing no opportunity for call-in or scrutiny), proposes a range of parking changes. You can read the full Executive Decision via the Exit strategy for Parking link.

Clearly the determined and ongoing protests of local residents, retailers and Residents’ Association councillors have hit home and they are proposing the introduction of a 1 hour free ‘Stop and Shop’ in 1000+ pay and display bays across Havering, together with free parking on Sundays. This is dressed up as ‘supporting businesses’ affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, failing of course to acknowledging that for some businesses it is a little too late, with some already closed for good.

Whilst this proposal is to be welcomed, their failure to address any free parking in our Town Centre car parks is an opportunity missed and something the Residents’ Association of Emerson Park will continue to press for.

There is a proposed discount for using cashless payments in car parks of 20%, which of course discriminates against anyone not having a smart phone or ability to use one.

There is an intention to offer special permits for ‘key workers’, although details on this are scant.

These changes will start from 03 August, including the re-introduction of charges in council owned car parks. From 13 July the re-introduction of enforcement for permit bays will operate. So be warned!

From September, consultations on parking and traffic schemes (suspended for many months), will recommence, so take the opportunity to ensure your views are heard.