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Plans to scrap free-of-charge parking in Harlow to be reviewed.

News / Sun 25th Feb 2024 at 10:27am

PLANS to scrap free-of-charge parking across north Essex – with some streets expected to raise more than £20,000 extra – are to be scrutinised by a county council panel reports the Local Democracy Reporter.

The North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP) is looking to implement a new parking system across Colchester, Braintree, Epping Forest and Harlow which could see free parking spots replaced with pay and display.

However, the proposals have been met with stiff opposition from district and county councillors, particularly in Braintree where charges are being planned in Witham, Braintree and Halstead.

North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP) propose to introduce pay and display parking along Newland Street in Witham. Currently, people can park for free for one hour.

Free parking in both The Causeway and Bocking End, in Braintree and high street and The Centre in Halstead, could also be axed.

Councillor Graham Butland who represents Braintree District Council on NEPP said the decision is to be scrutinised after county councils representing areas in Braintree district called the matter in.

He echoed his own concerns the plans had been made with “virtually no consultation at all”.

Councillor Butland said at  Braintree Full Council on February 19: “I made several comments expressing concerns that there been little or virtually no consultation at all.

“Either with the local county councillors, and on-street parking is a county council issue, but neither also with our local ward councillors and town parish councils. That should be done.”

He added: “I am in little doubt about the amount of angst it has caused in all areas at the possibility of bringing in charges.

“It is possible to control parking without bringing in charges. It is difficult to police it because unless someone is there when the person arrives when they go you can’t do it.

“It is possible to indicate what time you can stay without necessarily making a charge.”

A formal consultation period is yet to open on the proposals.

He added: “I hope as many people locally who have strong feelings will make them known to NEPP.”

Councillor Toby Williams, who represents Newland Street on Braintree District Council described the plans as “wrong-headed and backwards looking ” and urged the the partnership to “exhibit slightly more transparency when it comes to decision making.”

He said: “These proposals would have a really damaging impact on our town.

“They would hit people in the pocket at the time of cost of living challenges, they would undermine local business and they would make life more difficult for disabled and vulnerable people living in the town.”

Rules dictate that if following a call-in meeting a scrutiny committee remains concerned about it, then it may refer it back to the NEPP joint committee for reconsideration, setting out in writing the nature of its concerns.

If referred back to the NEPP joint committee for reconsideration the joint committee will have a further seven working days to consider whether to amend the original decision or revise the original action taken before reaching a final decision or taking final action.

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27 Comments for Plans to scrap free-of-charge parking in Harlow to be reviewed.:

Adam
2024-02-25 10:41:24

We need to become difficult to govern

David
2024-02-25 11:24:17

Absolutely ridiculous. If anything we need more free spaces for people who only need to stop for 15 minutes or so. Collecting takeaways or prescriptions etc. I cannot wait to get out of this town. Feels like it’s being run by the mafia.

Panny
2024-02-25 11:31:02

Maximise profits poor motorists.again

Nicholas Taylor
2024-02-25 11:40:58

Perhaps our four County Councillors could advise us where these free parking spots are in Harlow? It seems in these other towns that free parking is to end in shopping areas, just another nail in the coffin of the High Street. It just beggars belief that Councillors in some room at County Hall can come up with idea, without any consultation with residents. There is no suggestion that charges are being made for any reason other than to raise more money from motorists.

Ray
2024-02-25 12:39:29

100% agree Adam. Look at the Spanish or French, we roll over while the government tickles our belly.

Pot Harlow
2024-02-25 12:40:52

We don't need a new parking system, we need better maintained roads, Harlow roads are riddled with potholes/delaminations and basic road maintenance is severely lacking over a number of years.

Steve
2024-02-25 13:32:43

Why should I have to pay to park where I live, its disgusting its just another stealth Tax, and a money making racket.

Kevin Piggott
2024-02-25 14:16:22

I noticed the make shift repair they done on southern way by the Latton bush centre is breaking up again

Eddie
2024-02-25 15:06:25

Shops in this town are already struggling , stopping free parking for the first hour will be the final nail in their coffin. Shoppers just will not shop in these precincts. It ends up more money for the big supermarkets with their free parking . How will the councils make money when they get no rents from the shops that will have to close through lack of business. It doesn't take much working out does it.

Eddie
2024-02-25 15:23:38

We need to get shoppers back to the Town Centre shopping , so perhaps free parking there would get them back

William Warner
2024-02-25 15:36:01

So wash more money on rubbish in Harlow shop are closed down because parking in Harlow all so close the shop on Sunday because on bus in Harlow on Sunday 1 even 4 hours if you are lucky

Rob
2024-02-25 15:43:31

Free parking to be abolished? That’s a laugh ..no one knows where it is…. Or are all on street parking to be made permit holders only? Which will do nothing to ease the problems on our streets for residents.

Linda
2024-02-25 17:04:02

I don't think it's fair to pay and park where I leave, this dicsion will make our life miserable.

Alex
2024-02-25 18:32:23

In northbrooks we already pay an exorbitant on parking permits. It's unfair to penalise those who live here because of people who park illegally to avoid paying in town centre car parks. Get the money from them. You rarely see a warden around here.

Adam
2024-02-25 19:13:41

The only conclusion one can come to from all of this and the wider state of the nation is that our politicians of all parties hate us and see us as children to be guided and controlled. I would like to see everyone in Harlow refuse to pay their council taxes, they only thing the parasites care about is money

NickL
2024-02-25 19:45:51

This is one way to grow online shopping and kill the highstreet.

John Devoti
2024-02-26 07:49:21

Why is the Essex County Council so deceitful this is just another way to raise revenue It never ceases to amaze me that Councillor’s promise to serve the people and at time of a cost of living crisis they seek to tax people more. Local businesses will suffer and this will drive people online and have their purchases delivered to their doorstep Any Councillor who votes for this tax should be ashamed of themselves

Nostradamus
2024-02-26 09:42:52

The answer to problems with parking and the associated problems of congestion and the killing off of local businesses is actually more free parking, more safe pedestrian areas, far better cycle routes with secure parking and the provision of large free park and ride hubs around the perimeter of the town. If Essex CC Councillors got out and looked at other counties and countries transport policies they'd see charging and charging more actually costs more. It's like the policy of reducing access and the range of materials that can be left at council rubbish centres the result, massive costs due to flytipping. We see this incompetence in every policy: education: Essex built schools with crumbly concrete to save money result school closures and a far greater bill: worst in the Country. Essex with Herts to build a barrier crossing into the Stort Valley result more flooding into Harlow and decimation of the ecology of the Stort Valley. Give Harlow a new hospital but build in Epping district result and so on. And so on

Kevin
2024-02-26 09:47:50

Why the hell do we pay road tax which allows us to not only use the roads, but to park on them. This government and councils are strangling us and this has to stop. Once again this is a money making scheme and does not help or improve anything for us and I really agree with other comments that say it's about time we start showing our feelings. These bloody people in charge have forgot that they are in their positions to help and support us, not make them richer and impoverish us which they are doing. To even considerate this is totally disgusting and disgraceful

Nostradamus
2024-02-26 09:48:09

Ray they don't tickle, they fleece you whilst picking your pockets to boost the profits of developers and then have the audacity to tell you how well they are doing.

Nostradamus
2024-02-26 09:58:45

NEPP "The service is council-run and is a partnership between Essex County Council and two lead councils: It is in two areas; the North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP) is led by Colchester Council and the South Essex Parking Partnership (SEPP) by Chelmsford Council." In other words any charges are a tory stealth tax. The headline implies NEPP is a separate business and the Council is exerting pressure on said organisation to change a decision to charge for parking. Just the tory equivalent of ULEZ which actually was a direct result of the tory government cutting the funding of Transport for London. Smoke and mirrors. "Look how great we are thinking about cutting a charge we wanted to impose". Anyone would think there's an election coming up

Jay
2024-02-26 11:03:46

More more more how do you like it how do you like it ......well more high street shops are going to struggle and end up closing because instead of a quick 5 min stop and grab they'll go to a supermarket. These car hating gestapo councils never get it do they. One day there will be no high street.

Tony
2024-02-26 11:09:34

Its time for Harlow council to send NEPP the right message which is NO. this is another nail in the coffin for high Streets every where come on Harlow and Essex councils do the right thing and send NEPP packing stop putting profit before common sense ✋✋✋

Tony
2024-02-26 11:25:05

The congestion charge was a labour idea which Ken Livingston implemented as labour mare. then ELES came along which again was lmplemented by a labour mare also you can thank red Ken for longer road works because whot he lmplemented when he was mare 🤔😉😳 love labour just look at London stealth Tax it will all over country

James Gamble
2024-02-26 19:11:48

Another attack on car owners, what with car insurance almost doubling last year and road tax going up again, now we have to park outside our houses. If the council really want to solve the parking issues they look at parking spaces availability. Turn unused garages into parking spaces and drop paths so drivers can park in front of their house. Where I live there is pointless roundabouts, remove them and free up more parking spaces.

Simon Carter
2024-02-26 19:34:00

Nick, (and Nostradamus) if you had read the article you will have known that NEPP is a partnership between ECC and six district councils. It is a separate body with its own staff and responsibilities and there is little the county councillors can do to directly influence its decisions. You will also have learnt that this proposal is not going down well with some councils nor locally. Harlow's representative on the panel is away at the moment but I am sure they will pick the issue on their return.

Guy Flegman
2024-02-27 15:44:45

Sounds like a quango to me

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