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Weekend parking in Havering Council-run car parks to be free over Christmas

PUBLISHED: 13:27 22 October 2019 | UPDATED: 13:27 22 October 2019

Councillor Damian White, leader of Havering Council. Picture: Mark Sepple/Havering Council

Councillor Damian White, leader of Havering Council. Picture: Mark Sepple/Havering Council

Mark Sepple

Havering Council has today announced that every council-run car park across the borough will be free to park in for six weekends over the Christmas period.

Council leader, Councillor Damian White, said he was pleased to reveal that residents will not have to pay to park in car parks on Saturdays and Sundays from November 30 until January 5 2020.

Cllr White said: "This means that shoppers can enjoy our high streets, support our local shops, and buy Christmas presents and other goods and services.

"So we want our residents to support our local shops and use them. We hope that offering free parking at the weekends in the lead up to, and just after, Christmas, will encourage them to make the trip and buy local."

The news comes as the council is running a consultation on parking issues across the borough.

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Residents in nine areas - Elm Park, Hylands, Romford, Rainham, Emerson Park, Gidea Park, Hornchurch, Upminster and Harold Wood - have been invited to have their say on how best to protect their parking.

Options suggested in the consultation range from introducing resident permits, painting more yellow lines, adding more parking bays or even "making no change at all".

It is currently running at consultation.havering.gov.uk/coo/parking-review and residents have until Friday, November 22 to respond.

However, the consultation does not give residents an option to express their views on the loss of 30 minutes' free parking - something that small and medium businesses in Upminster and Hornchurch are currently campaigning to have restored.

It now costs £1.50 to park in car parking areas where previously the first half an hour of parking was free.

Speaking at a protest outside the Town Hall in July, one local businessman told the Recorder: "The taking away of the 30 minutes free parking is absolutely destroying local businesses."

The changes were implemented to help fund Havering Council's drive to invest £40million in improving the borough's roads and pavements over the next four years.

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