Wednesday, 3 December 2014

New parking charges in Belton Way

On my nightly journey home from my office in Southend to my home in Leigh I travel up Belton Way West and like many others have noticed the wrapped and as yet inactive parking pay machines that have been installed as an unwelcome present to the residents of West Leigh signalling the imminent introduction of parking charges in this area.

Whilst I appreciate the need to raise additional funds wherever possible I am strongly of the view that this is an unwelcome and ill conceived proposal.

The area already had time limits in place to prevent use by commuters but provided free parking for those visiting Leigh and the marshes who were prepared for a slightly longer walk to their destination. It supplemented the pay and display parking in the various parking areas nearer to the Old Town and indeed the C2C car park with its overpriced spaces.

The imposition of charges in this area is likely to drive yet more visitors to park in the residential roads on the Marine Estate which already suffer from significant parking stress.

It also seems to contradict the stance adopted by council Leader Ron Woodley and his party colleagues on the potential introduction of new charges in areas of Thorpe Bay. Is this an example of the west of the town getting a raw deal as a result of the current east biased cabinet?

On a related issue I do believe that C2C should be expected to provide car parking spaces to their users at a more reasonable price to encourage rather than discourage their use. The last administration also invested in improving the council owned parking facilities on Leigh Marshes and there may be further opportunity for investment in that area to provide convenient and cost effective parking for commuters and visitors alike.

It does seem unfortunate that when the areas around so many of our local stations are suffering from high levels of commuter parking we cannot better utilise the potential space available in Leigh.


  1. I seem to recall that it was your administration that approved these changes.

  2. I have to say that I cannot recall the proposal being included in the last budget as I have always opposed charging in this location, however if you are right I will do an “Ed Balls” and deny responsibility for my previous involvement and will remain in complete denial. More importantly I am still of the view that the decision is wrong and in stark contrast to the attitude adopted with regard to certain potential charge areas in the east.