A COUNCIL boss says he is determined to halt bad parking across Southend... but it will have to be done correctly.

Ron Woodley, Southend’s cabinet member for transport, was speaking after the House of Commons’ transport committee launched an enquiry into pavement parking and whether a blanket ban could be a solution.

But Mr Woodley was cautious over a blanket ban and instead pointed to a law which he says is not being enforced across the borough.

He said: “We do need to do something to help the parking situation in this town, especially with the amount of narrow roads, but we need to make sure we do that properly.

“Currently we are not enforcing the Highways Act as we should be - like for people driving over verges and pavements without a cross over.

“We also need to make sure developers protect footways and highways when they’re developing properties - it’s alright putting things in place but we need enforcement powers to enforce legislation that’s currently in place.

“Our council has unfortunately failed to do that but I’m on the case – as a council we should start enforcing the act.”

He added: “It costs the council over £300k plus to repair footways that developers damage when they’re doing works on people’s houses by not having proper cross overs - and to repair pavements people keep driving over costs another £200k.

“We need to look at this street by street - there are many unnecessary grass verges, less than a metre wide.

“We should enforce the suggestion but we need government legislation to do that.”

As part of the enquiry, road safety charity IAM RoadSmart appears to back Mr Woodley.

In its submission to the committee, it said: “Where pedestrians are being put in danger or denied access by inconsiderate pavement parking, or if costly long-term damage is being done, then we have no problem with local solutions being implemented for local problems.”

He added: “Councils should be encouraged to use their existing powers to sign, define, review and enforce local bans as required.”

Sally Ware posted on Facebook: “Pavements are for walking, not parking. How frustrating when you have a pram or toddlers and you forced to walk in the road with cars going by because some selfish person gas dump their car on the pavement.”

Stephen Snell added: “Double yellow lines where I live are ignored by parents picking up their kids, all because they are to lazy to use the church carpark and walk the 150 yards to the school gate.

“They would much rather turn up at 3.30 to get a spot near the school rather than do a 2 minute walk. The council need to turn those silly patches of grass, which are only used for dogs to poo on.”