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Stop blocking our streets with cars
6:00am Tuesday 29th October 2013 in Echo News
DRIVERS are hogging parking spaces in streets near Southend Airport and blocking driveways to avoid airport parking charges, angry residents claim.
Householders close to the airport say people flying from the airport often clog up streets off Manners Way, forcing them to drive around the area in search of spaces near their homes.
Dave Holiday, 81, of Sherbourne Gardens, Southend, said: “People come home from work and they find they can’t get their car in, because airport customers are blocking their drive.
“Sometimes, you can’t even get into your road because they have blocked the turning.”
Inconsiderate parking can also be dangerous, resident say, as it blocks drivers’ view on to the main road as they pull out.
Residents met local ward councillor Mark Flewitt, to demand action on the problem, which affects roads including Manners Way, Sherbourne Gardens, Oaken Grange Drive, Thornford Gardens, Derek Gardens, Alton Gardens and Warners Bridge Chase. The problem also affects allotment holders at the Warners Bridge Chase site.
Mr Holiday says double yellow lines along Manners Way and a residents’ parking scheme in his road, would solve the problem, but be unpopular.
He said he was pleased to see the airport doing well, but added: “We would have to pay for residents’ parking. I object to that when it’s as a result of the airport.”
Ted Lewin, Lib Dem councillor for St Laurence ward, who was also at the meeting, wants the airport to reduce its parking charges, which start at £2.50 for 30 minutes rising to £15 a day.
He said: “Halving the parking charges at the airport would almost certainly double the number of passengers using the airport car park, so not lead to a loss of revenue for the car park.
“I don’t want to see this important asset to the town’s economy and the wonderful facility of travel to exciting destinations on our doorstop derailed by traffic problems.”
Airport operations director, David Lister said: “We havemade a huge investment in public transport, with a new railway station just 100 paces from the terminal, new bus shelters and the routing of the X30 coach to the airport.
“Our first annual report shows 29 per cent of passengers are using public transport to access the airport – good progress on the airport’s surface access strategy.
We will continue to work with the council to assess the impact of the airport on parking on local streets.”
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