The 10 council-owned car parks now shut to deter gatherings

March 30, 2020 by Emily Mertens

The council has shut 10 local car parks in an attempt to deter people from social gatherings, implementing these measures to tackle the spread of Coronavirus.

The latest lockdown advice by the Government stated that people should be staying at home, and gatherings of more than two people in public are prohibited. However, reports of groups gathering particularly around the seafront and in parks have been noticed.

To prevent this from happening further, the council has now closed a number of car parks in hot spot locations, these include:
- East Beach
- Shoebury Common South
- Shoebury Common North
- Thorpe Esplanade
- University Square CP
- Southchurch East CP
- Gunner Park Car Park 1 & 2
- Gas Works Car Park
- Fairheads Green (next to the Sealife Centre)
- Seaway car park 

This is in addition to the recent announcement that 1 hour parking restrictions had been lifted to promote staying at home, and also the scaling back of parking enforcement in all pay and display car parks and on-street parking bays.

Cllr Ron Woodley, Cabinet Member for Transport, Capital and Inward Investment, said: “Whilst the majority of residents have adhered to the Government instruction to stay at home other than in very specific circumstances, we have seen too many examples of people gathering in groups, particularly in the seafront area. This is unacceptable and we hope that closing these car parks will further discourage groups gathering in these hotspot areas, including parks.

“The national instruction has been crystal clear. We must stay home, protect the NHS and save lives. If you are out exercising or travelling to work, you must observe social distancing measures. I cannot stress enough the importance of following this. We must all stick together whilst we work through what is an incredibly difficult time. Failing to adhere to the restrictions put in place not only puts those and their families at risk, but also, the wider public.

“We have left some car parks open to support those shopping for essentials, and we continue to adapt to the ongoing outbreak, we will ensure we take the necessary steps to protect our residents.”


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