MAJOR changes are being proposed to parking charges surrounding Southend Hospital - and residents in neighbouring roads fear they may lose their resident spaces.
A comprehensive change to the parking scheme surrounding Southend Hospital is set to be discussed by Southend Council’s traffic and working party on Thursday.
The council has stated that due to an increase in demand there are often vehicles spending long periods driving around the area to attempt to locate pay and display parking bays - while a large number of resident permit holder bays are empty.
To combat the issue, the council is proposing to increase the number of pay and display bays in nearby streets and match hospital parking charges.
Resident permit spaces could become a “shared resource” so they can be used by permit holders or pay and display parkers between 9.30am to 4.30pm.
It will cost the council £85,000 to install the extra pay and display machines to be installed.
Carlton Drive resident, Ralph Morgan, 64, said: “What happens if I am at home, using my space, and pop out for an hour and come home and its being used by a pay and display ‘parker’.
“I am losing my space and will be driving around in circles looking for a new one.
“We have only ever had problems with parking around here, and I don’t see that changing.
“We pay for our spaces, but then someone else can use them? It is all about money.”
Residents in streets outside the permit zone hope the change could reduce pressure on their roads with many staff and patients parking away from the hospital due to a lack of spaces.
A survey undertaken by the council found that in the morning, there are 94 free resident permit spaces free, and 88 in the afternoon along the six roads closest to the hospital.
The roads affected would be Prittlewell Chase, Cardigan Avenue, Carlingford Drive, Hillborough Road, Carlton Drive and Lavender Grove.
A council spokesman said: “The traffic and parking working party is being asked to decide whether to advertise proposed amendments to the controlled parking zone around Southend Hospital.
“The proposals being considered by the working party have two primary aims.
“Firstly, to increase the supply of public parking spaces close to the hospital during the hours when the nearby resident parking area is underused.
“Secondly, to reduce the likelihood of people parking in residential streets.”
If the working party agrees, the changes will be advertised followed by a public consultation. If objections are made, the proposal will return to the working party. Southend Hospital declined to comment.