Nighttime parking charges prompt fears for Brentwood business

Parked cars. Picture: PA/Stefan Rousseau

Parked cars. Picture: PA/Stefan Rousseau - Credit: PA Wire/Press Association Images

The council stands to make thousands of pounds after changes to nighttime parking were made official.

Brentwood Borough Council has approved plans to scrap free parking in council-owned car parks after it raked in £60,000 during a trial period.

The trial, which started in October at car parks in Chatham Way, William Hunter Way, Friars Avenue and Hunters Avenue, saw drivers paying £2 to park between 7pm and 6am.

The nighttime parking plan, which has been opposed by the Conservatives, means the council will be able to offer cheaper rates for all-day parking in Brentwood – from £10.50 to £8.

Conservative Cllr Chris Hossack said: “This tinkering will be of no benefit to anyone. I think it will be a detriment to businesses because it’s an added inconvenience. They’re offering discounts for full-day parking, only 1.7 per cent of drivers buy full-day parking tickets.”

The new parking plans also include discounted rates for part-time workers and those on low income.

Business and town centres chairman Cllr David Kendall said: “We would have liked to have gone much further in providing lower car parking charges but unfortunately the finances at this stage wouldn’t allow it.”

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The changes, which will be introduced in June, include a discounted £30 a week parking charge.

Brentwood Chamber of Commerce chief executive Mike Hawkin said there had not been a backlash to the parking charges, but he would be concerned people could be put off visiting the town if they were to increase further.

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