Clacton: Plans for long-awaited extended on-street town centre parking backed
- Credit: Andrew Partridge
TRADERS and shoppers have welcomed long-awaited proposals to extend on-street parking to up to three hours in a town centre.
Shopkeepers have been campaigning for improved town centre parking after a number of parking spaces were axed following a revamp in Clacton six years ago.
Businesses argue one-hour spaces act as a deterrent to town centre shoppers, insisting it prevents them from spending more time and money in the heart of the town.
But shop owners have hailed plans to increase on-street parking to two and three hours – dependent on location – unveiled by North Essex Parking Partnership and Tendring District Council (TDC).
Chris Shelton, manager at Hughes TV and Electrical in High Street, said: “It looks like it will go back to what it used to be years ago, when we had two- hour parking in the town centre.
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“It was much better then for everyone. A lot of customers complain about the one-hour parking and always feel as though they have to rush their shopping in town.
“It affects us because we like to do a lot of electrical demonstrations for our customers – but people are looking at their watch to make sure they get back to their car in time.
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“So hopefully these plans will go through. I think people will spend more time browsing and window shopping as a result.”
The plans also include parking restrictions for lorries and coaches on part of the seafront from Martello Bay to Holland and to restrict camper vans and caravans from Clacton Pier to Martello Bay only.
Tim Thomas, director at Hoop Hairdressers in Rosemary Road, said: “This has certainly been a long time coming. It is great news for the town.
“Every business and customer will fully support it, as people now have the chance to spend more time in the town’s shops rather than travelling out to the larger superstores.”
The news follows the much-heralded free parking scheme introduced by TDC across the district in July last year.
The scheme, which gained approval to continue for another 12 months on March 1, issues every council tax-paying household with a free parking permit which can be used at any of the council’s 25 car parks from 10am to midnight.
Alan Kidd, manager of Wilkinson in Station Road, said: “I think it’s great news and it follows on from the permits issued last year, which made an impact on the footfall in a positive way.”
TDC leader Peter Halliday said: “These new proposed parking arrangements will further help visitors and shoppers park for longer and support their local shops and businesses.”
New residents-only parking schemes would also be introduced in Crossfield Road and Anchor Road.
A consultation on the plans ends on April 25.