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With Eric Hall

Business leaders criticise plans for new parking charges in Hornchurch and Upminster

The Havering Chamber of Commerce has spoken out against proposals to scrap free parking in Upminster and Hornchurch.

Currently, it is free to park in both town centres according to Havering Council but it is considering bringing in charges to bring them in line with prices in Romford.

“It will discourage people from visiting shopping centers,” said David Parish, from the Chamber. “The volume of trade will fall, which will not help the already struggling retail sector in the high-street.” 

It has written a letter to the Chief Executive of Havering Council, raising its concerns. 

Mr. Parish encouraged other local businesses to share their concerns with the council as well. 

But the money raised from the charges will go towards road improvements according to a Havering Council spokesperson. 

“Roads and pavements were the number one priority for residents last year,” they said. 

A fee of £1.50 will be introduced for all day on Sundays and new overnight charges could be brought in as well. 

The council is proposing to spend £10 million a year fixing roads and motorways over the next four years, and is hoping to use the car parking charges to fund that work.

“Residents have told us that our roads and pavements need improving and these parking charge changes will help us fund the work to fix them,” said Councillor Osman Dervish. 

Controlled parking zones are also being considered to help local people find parking spaces in their neighborhood. 

It’s to prevent them from “losing it to out-of-borough commuters,” according to Councillor Dervish. 

A consultation will begin later this year. 

Contactless parking meters are also being introduced to save residents time looking for change.

They will be tested in Romford first and then implemented across the borough. 

More details on the proposed increases can be found from page 119 in this document.

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