Several avenues have been explored as the Council considered different arrangements for car parking in the District.

All the decisions taken will be subject to a review six months following implementation, anticipated to be in October. The decisions taken were:
1. Parking charges in the Rochford District will be increased by 20p in the first three charging bands as follows:

    *  Up to one hour – 60p increase to 80p
    *  Up to two hours – £1.20 increase to £1.40
    *  Up to three hours – £1.80 increase to £2.00

2. A half hour charging band will be re-introduced in all car parks with the tariff set at 40p.

3. All pay and display machines will be replaced by new multi-function machines that, in addition to enabling new payment options (such as credit card payments), will also be configured to allow linear charging so that additional time is provided if an overpayment is made when a ticket is purchased.

4. Payment by mobile phone will be introduced.

5. The trader refund scheme will be ended.

6. Opportunities will be sought for selling advertising space on the back of parking tickets, as appropriate.

7. At the moment pay and display will not be introduced for car parks in Hockley Woods or other open spaces in the District, however, this will be reviewed for 2012/13.

Following the meeting, Rochford District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning and Transportation, Councillor Keith Hudson, said: “One of the most important decisions the Council took last night was to reduce its minimum parking fee from 60 to 40 pence. This is to help our residents and visitors in these times of austerity, especially those who just want a short stay in our car parks to pick up a prescription or buy a loaf of bread or newspaper.

The Council will also be replacing all of our outdated ticket machines with the latest state of the art models which will accept coins, cards and telephone payments, and most importantly, give full value for money. So whatever coinage you put in above the minimum of 40 pence you will get the appropriate amount of time credited to you for your stay in our car parks.

These machines facilitate considerable efficiencies of operation so making long term cost savings for the Council which we are delighted to be able to pass on to our residents.

This is just one other example of the on going search for improvements to efficiency driven by Rochford District Council to ensure that Rochford District is the finest place to live, work and visit.”