The Great Big Parking Debate is once again about to be resumed and discussed by our illustrious representatives on Southend Council. Thursday January, 10th.
The problem in hand is that commuters have been driven out of the designated commuter car park at Leigh on Sea Railway Station, by high charges set by National Car Parks. NCP run the station car park, and yes that would be the same company that is so active in hospital car parking for profit, and the mobile spy-cams business that we all love to hate for very good reasons.
So, commuters find their way onto the streets near Chalkwell Station, parking for free, if they please, and if they are able. Here there is an ever-diminishing number of off street parking spaces so it not easy for the commuters, and even worse for poor suckers who actually reside in these streets.
This does not affect all streets near Chalkwell station. The current arrangements are endorsed by Southend Council, and they are not intended to be equitable.
The streets where residents are lucky enough to have private driveways and garages, also have the benefit of street parking restrictions that prevent commuters parking in their streets. This in turn encourages yet more commuters onto the streets where residents have no off-street parking and therefore depend upon street parking near their homes.
Chalkwell has a neglected blighted minority that have been dumped on by the Council. This disadvantaged minority is not only forced to compete with misplaced commuters who wish to park in front of their house, but they also have to dodge the mobile cowboy spy-cams, who are willing to break all the rules of their engagement, for big fat profit.
Councillors have failed to find a solution to this problem. They do not want to upset the majority of residents who are comfortable with the present arrangements, and are prepared to ignore the blighted minority.
The Councillor’s dilemma: to do the right thing, or risk electoral disadvantage.
So far they have kicked the can down the road, and whatever view they have on the subject is not published by the council minutes. None of them want anyone to know what they think.
If any of them have something to say about this, I will be happy to publish it right here.