Park-to-shop for free

ON STREET parking in Grays will become free for the first 15 minutes following Wednesday (7 September) evening’s meeting of Thurrock Council’s cabinet.

And the council is to look at introducing on-street parking bays in other parts of the borough too.

The measure was suggested by the council’s Environment portfolio holder, Cllr Val Morris-Cook at the last cabinet, but she was unable to be at Wednesday’s meeting.

In July, she said: “This is something aimed at boosting local businesses. On our on-street parking, I am asking for a paper to come to the next cabinet meeting for a 15-minute ‘amnesty’ so people who need to nip out and grab some quick shopping won’t have to pay

Council Leader, Cllr John Kent, introduced Wednesday’s item. He said: “At the moment this only affects 11 roads in and around Grays town centre.

“But if we look at some of them — Clarence Road, London Road and Cromwell Road for example — there is on-street parking directly outside shops.

“The idea is that the shops and the shoppers will benefit and we’ll look at it again in six months to see how it’s working and how much it’s costing.”

He added: “We’re also asking officers to look at other shopping areas around the borough, areas where it’s not currently possible to stop directly outside the shops to see if it would be possible to introduce 15 minute stop-to-shop bays elsewhere..

“This innovative move is a real win-win. Local businesses and shops are experiencing difficult times and this helps both the small businesses and the resident in need of a quick trip to the shop to pick up a pint of milk or a loaf of bread.”

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Kent said this decision meant the council could now start the process, which has to include public notices and public consultation, software changes to the machines and new signage so it “can’t unfortunately happen overnight” and is likely to be four to six weeks.

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