Shoppers to get Christmas free parking in Southend

Southend Standard: Southend High Street Southend High Street

SHOPPERS will benefit from free parking in Southend this Christmas as council chiefs try to boost trade.

Southend Council will throw open the gates to thirteen car parks throughout the town on Sundays and Thursday evenings over the festive period.

Rochford District Council also plans to scrap charges on the four weekends before December 25 to entice more people into its stores.

The move has been welcomed by hard-pressed punters, who said they would definitely take advantage of the scheme.

Tim Morrison, 37, of Ness Road, Shoebury, said: “It’s a good idea.

“Christmas is always an expensive time of year, so any breaks you can get are very welcome.”

Laura Opelheimer, 44, of Genesta Road, Westcliff, added: “Parking’s always one of those things that you don’t like to pay for.

“When you’re already spending a lot on Christmas presents, it’s nice not to have to face that as well."

Free parking will be available in Southend after 4pm on Thursday, December 6, 13 and 20, and all day on Sunday, December 9 and 16.

The scheme was first introduced in 2010 and repeated last year.

Tony Cox, the Tory councillor responsible for transport, said: “It gave residents, visitors to the town and retailers a helping hand.

“It encourages people to stay longer, so they can make the most of our shops.”

In Rochford and Rayleigh, where parking is usually charged until 1pm on Saturdays, shoppers will be able to enjoy free entry over four weekends, starting on December 1.

Tory councillor Keith Hudson said: “We’ll be offering free parking over the weekends before Christmas to benefit residents.”

There are no plans to extend free parking in Basildon beyond the usual offer of all day on Sundays and bank holidays, meaning Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day will be included.

However, the Eastgate Shopping Centre will stay open until 8pm on Thursdays, starting next week , and will open from 9am to 8pm from Monday, December 17 to Friday, December 21.

The centre will also open from 9am to 6pm on Christmas Eve.

No free parking is planned in Castle Point, but shops in the Knightswick Centre in Canvey will stay open for an extra half-hour in the week before Christmas.

Comments (22)

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3:27pm Thu 22 Nov 12

al coniston says...

so after 4pm on Thursdays, and just 2 sundays ???

totally pointless . . . i will take my usual trip to Lakeside
so after 4pm on Thursdays, and just 2 sundays ??? totally pointless . . . i will take my usual trip to Lakeside al coniston
  • Score: 7

3:36pm Thu 22 Nov 12

fletch12107 says...

So you have to be available to go shopping on very specific days at very specific times to get a bit of free parking. You will also get very few good shops to spend your money in as well.
So you have to be available to go shopping on very specific days at very specific times to get a bit of free parking. You will also get very few good shops to spend your money in as well. fletch12107
  • Score: 7

4:15pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Kentish Alex says...

Lakeside for me too. Southend Council need to up their game to attract shoppers. This sop is not enough.
Lakeside for me too. Southend Council need to up their game to attract shoppers. This sop is not enough. Kentish Alex
  • Score: 6

4:17pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Andycal 172D says...

Not really competition for Lakeside or Bluewater is it?

And who thought that was a good picture to put with this story? One bag person in a deserted High Street - still sort of sums up Southend these days.
Not really competition for Lakeside or Bluewater is it? And who thought that was a good picture to put with this story? One bag person in a deserted High Street - still sort of sums up Southend these days. Andycal 172D
  • Score: 8

4:35pm Thu 22 Nov 12

emcee says...

An absolutely underwelming peice of news. After 4pm every day and ALL weekend would have been a bit better. However, it is not only parking that is an issue with people not wanting to visit Southend town centre.
The council really do need to wake up and smell the coffee because an asprin is not going to help something that is already dying.
An absolutely underwelming peice of news. After 4pm every day and ALL weekend would have been a bit better. However, it is not only parking that is an issue with people not wanting to visit Southend town centre. The council really do need to wake up and smell the coffee because an asprin is not going to help something that is already dying. emcee
  • Score: 4

4:37pm Thu 22 Nov 12

reptile says...

Too late I've got all I need from the Internet.
Too late I've got all I need from the Internet. reptile
  • Score: 6

4:41pm Thu 22 Nov 12

thesouthendone says...

This is brilliant! Southend High St has so much going for it, a lovely choice of pound shops, McDonalds and more H&M stores than customers. Its also really nice to see all the druggies and alchaholics around the Southchurch Road area, it's very Dickesian to see such vast class differences in class at this time of year and much more authentic than Rochesters Cheesy Christmas Market. Also the timing (Thursday Nights) is perfect! I love walking around Southend in the dark especially around the new park in Warrior Square. Lovely. How people can complain is beyond me!
This is brilliant! Southend High St has so much going for it, a lovely choice of pound shops, McDonalds and more H&M stores than customers. Its also really nice to see all the druggies and alchaholics around the Southchurch Road area, it's very Dickesian to see such vast class differences in class at this time of year and much more authentic than Rochesters Cheesy Christmas Market. Also the timing (Thursday Nights) is perfect! I love walking around Southend in the dark especially around the new park in Warrior Square. Lovely. How people can complain is beyond me! thesouthendone
  • Score: 7

4:44pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Broadwaywatch says...

Why blue lights, why make the high street look colder than it already is. Whats happend to the festive colours of Christmas...the reds, the green. I wish the Christmas lights teams should start looking at such designs through a childs eye then perhaps it would become something special. blue and white is so bland and unexciting. Rayleigh has always had the right idea.
Trendy is not always best.
Sorry, too many towns have taken away the warmth and happy glow of the festive season.
Why blue lights, why make the high street look colder than it already is. Whats happend to the festive colours of Christmas...the reds, the green. I wish the Christmas lights teams should start looking at such designs through a childs eye then perhaps it would become something special. blue and white is so bland and unexciting. Rayleigh has always had the right idea. Trendy is not always best. Sorry, too many towns have taken away the warmth and happy glow of the festive season. Broadwaywatch
  • Score: 2

4:47pm Thu 22 Nov 12

eddicaine says...

Bet the shopkeepers are over the moon with this fantastic news!!!
Bet the shopkeepers are over the moon with this fantastic news!!! eddicaine
  • Score: 6

4:47pm Thu 22 Nov 12

eddicaine says...

Bet the shopkeepers are over the moon with this fantastic news!!!
Bet the shopkeepers are over the moon with this fantastic news!!! eddicaine
  • Score: 2

5:32pm Thu 22 Nov 12

sosad 1 says...

to late southend you have blown it again go up the high st even a £ shop has gone t**ts up!
to late southend you have blown it again go up the high st even a £ shop has gone t**ts up! sosad 1
  • Score: 4

6:54pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Nebs says...

thesouthendone wrote:
This is brilliant! Southend High St has so much going for it, a lovely choice of pound shops, McDonalds and more H&M stores than customers. Its also really nice to see all the druggies and alchaholics around the Southchurch Road area, it's very Dickesian to see such vast class differences in class at this time of year and much more authentic than Rochesters Cheesy Christmas Market. Also the timing (Thursday Nights) is perfect! I love walking around Southend in the dark especially around the new park in Warrior Square. Lovely. How people can complain is beyond me!
There is a reasonable choice of shops. Boots, Primark, Next, M&S, Waterstones, Debenhams, to name but a few. You lot are welcome to sit in the christmas traffic jams when you visit lakeside, local for me.
[quote][p][bold]thesouthendone[/bold] wrote: This is brilliant! Southend High St has so much going for it, a lovely choice of pound shops, McDonalds and more H&M stores than customers. Its also really nice to see all the druggies and alchaholics around the Southchurch Road area, it's very Dickesian to see such vast class differences in class at this time of year and much more authentic than Rochesters Cheesy Christmas Market. Also the timing (Thursday Nights) is perfect! I love walking around Southend in the dark especially around the new park in Warrior Square. Lovely. How people can complain is beyond me![/p][/quote]There is a reasonable choice of shops. Boots, Primark, Next, M&S, Waterstones, Debenhams, to name but a few. You lot are welcome to sit in the christmas traffic jams when you visit lakeside, local for me. Nebs
  • Score: -1

7:36pm Thu 22 Nov 12

whiskers says...

What a waste of space,you may as well put the shutters up now. Romford/Lakeside here we come.
What a waste of space,you may as well put the shutters up now. Romford/Lakeside here we come. whiskers
  • Score: 3

8:52pm Thu 22 Nov 12

jolllyboy says...

Good for you Nebs. What shops ? No-one I know shops in southend any more.
Good for you Nebs. What shops ? No-one I know shops in southend any more. jolllyboy
  • Score: -1

9:38pm Thu 22 Nov 12

BASILBRUSH says...

Cant think of anything worse than Lakeside at Christmas.
I'll get what I can from the High Street and rest on the internet.
I agree about the lights... Love a variation in colours and preferably not LED Santas on cycles.
Shame the parking couldn't be more attractive, but then I tend to take the train or bus in now anyway.
Cant think of anything worse than Lakeside at Christmas. I'll get what I can from the High Street and rest on the internet. I agree about the lights... Love a variation in colours and preferably not LED Santas on cycles. Shame the parking couldn't be more attractive, but then I tend to take the train or bus in now anyway. BASILBRUSH
  • Score: 3

11:17pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Sir Peter Pantsless the 3rd says...

Wow! SBC really pushed the boat out with this token gesture didn't they!
.
They really haven't got a clue!
.
I'm guessing the (closed cabinet) committee meeting went something like this...
.
Question: "When is the high street least busy??"
Answer: "Thursday night & Sundays"
Decision: "Ok, so lets announce free parking during this period so that we loose least amount of revenue"
Wow! SBC really pushed the boat out with this token gesture didn't they! . They really haven't got a clue! . I'm guessing the (closed cabinet) committee meeting went something like this... . Question: "When is the high street least busy??" Answer: "Thursday night & Sundays" Decision: "Ok, so lets announce free parking during this period so that we loose least amount of revenue" Sir Peter Pantsless the 3rd
  • Score: 3

6:04am Fri 23 Nov 12

cris300 says...

Get the bus to chelmsford or use the park and ride, Southend council has a lot to answer for the high street is nothing but a dump.....
Get the bus to chelmsford or use the park and ride, Southend council has a lot to answer for the high street is nothing but a dump..... cris300
  • Score: 1

8:08am Fri 23 Nov 12

Eviekat says...

Greeeeeeeeeeeeeeeat!


I will defo stick to shopping online still...
Greeeeeeeeeeeeeeeat! I will defo stick to shopping online still... Eviekat
  • Score: 0

9:22am Fri 23 Nov 12

maxell says...

I think that you lot who comment on southend council are being grossly unfair with regard to the parking over christmas " I mean part of thursday and sundays" the council chamber has probably sat for ages working out this stratagy, many hours of deliberation has gone into atrtracting people into our deralict town, however I do feel the only dickensian theme is the one that runs through the heads of officials who work this stuff out, but looking on the positive side it is still a mighty achievment, when sharing the brain cell. I think that council members must all be agrophobic to the degree of being scared to open their eyes. Why cant they realise that spending millions on shopping centre revamps does not attract people. At least the council has had the good sence to set the mind set of people comming through the new gatway by giving them a laugh at the lego tower monstrocity that even students are embarrested to be see near, surley its common sence (for normal people) to reduce costs, attract stores by reduced costs, attract people with reduced costs, this in turn will start to boost the aeras local economy , saying that they have allowed the airport to extract even more money from the local economy, and if reports are right it would seem that the Trafford Center could even take some of southends trade. if intrested Once at manchester airport take the number 18 bus to the centre (direct link).
I think that you lot who comment on southend council are being grossly unfair with regard to the parking over christmas " I mean part of thursday and sundays" the council chamber has probably sat for ages working out this stratagy, many hours of deliberation has gone into atrtracting people into our deralict town, however I do feel the only dickensian theme is the one that runs through the heads of officials who work this stuff out, but looking on the positive side it is still a mighty achievment, when sharing the brain cell. I think that council members must all be agrophobic to the degree of being scared to open their eyes. Why cant they realise that spending millions on shopping centre revamps does not attract people. At least the council has had the good sence to set the mind set of people comming through the new gatway by giving them a laugh at the lego tower monstrocity that even students are embarrested to be see near, surley its common sence (for normal people) to reduce costs, attract stores by reduced costs, attract people with reduced costs, this in turn will start to boost the aeras local economy , saying that they have allowed the airport to extract even more money from the local economy, and if reports are right it would seem that the Trafford Center could even take some of southends trade. if intrested Once at manchester airport take the number 18 bus to the centre (direct link). maxell
  • Score: 0

1:32pm Fri 23 Nov 12

Shrimpers Not Blues says...

So some people are going to Romford, Lakeside or Bluewater to get free parking!

So what you save on parking you will spend on fuel and the Dartford River Crossing.

With fuel near on £6 a gallon you will probably spend more!
So some people are going to Romford, Lakeside or Bluewater to get free parking! So what you save on parking you will spend on fuel and the Dartford River Crossing. With fuel near on £6 a gallon you will probably spend more! Shrimpers Not Blues
  • Score: 0

6:17pm Fri 23 Nov 12

maxell says...

Shrimpers Not Blues wrote:
So some people are going to Romford, Lakeside or Bluewater to get free parking!

So what you save on parking you will spend on fuel and the Dartford River Crossing.

With fuel near on £6 a gallon you will probably spend more!
yes but its worth the fuel to be able purchase what you need , as 9 times out of 10 you end up going elswhere, so you may as well go straight there
[quote][p][bold]Shrimpers Not Blues[/bold] wrote: So some people are going to Romford, Lakeside or Bluewater to get free parking! So what you save on parking you will spend on fuel and the Dartford River Crossing. With fuel near on £6 a gallon you will probably spend more![/p][/quote]yes but its worth the fuel to be able purchase what you need , as 9 times out of 10 you end up going elswhere, so you may as well go straight there maxell
  • Score: 0

2:15am Sat 24 Nov 12

pendulum says...

No thanks, can't be bothered to try and work out when the free parking is and for how long for. I'll be going out of town where parking is free 24/7.
No thanks, can't be bothered to try and work out when the free parking is and for how long for. I'll be going out of town where parking is free 24/7. pendulum
  • Score: 0

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