THE more parking spaces available in Southend, the better for everyone – residents, visitors and Southend Council.

Parking charges remain one surefire revenue stream, free from Government constraints, at a time when other funding sources are on the slide.

While everyone wants to see additional capacity, there is no prospect of further open spaces becoming available to create new car parks. There is, however, a relatively easy way to multiply the number of spaces. The idea is simply to build upwards on existing car parks at Tylers Avenue, Victoria Avenue and Carnarvon Road.

Turning these sites into multi-storey car parks would be a smart move, representing more efficient use of the available space, and it would give Southend the extra parking it needs with relatively little difficulty, or controversy.

Construction might even be self-financing, if the council sells off one or two other sites, such as the one in Clarence Road.

The only drawback is the unpopularity of multi-storeys with those who have to live in their shadow. But design has much improved in terms of architects’ ability to blend them into their surroundings.

The plan to extend car parks into the sky could potentially solve a lot of problems in Southend, with little or no pain. Now it is time to do the maths on how it can be made to work.