MOTORISTS in Basildon could be hit with more parking fines and increased pay and display fees as part of a bid to generate more income.

The South Essex Parking Partnership, which is in charge of Basildon Council’s parking enforcement, is having to make changes because Basildon is set to have a revenue shortfall of £77,990 by 2019.

Among the controversial proposals are to introduce more pay and display parking on streets across the borough, raising parking charges and dishing out more penalty charge notices.

Residents could also be targeted, with plans to introduce additional neighbourhood parking schemes and increase the cost of residents permits by 13 per cent from £26 a year to £30.

Nigel Smith, leader of Basildon’s Labour group, said: “It just seems like a tax on motorists. I understand that we need to use charges to control parking, but residents and visitors have every right to park their cars.

“For residents to have parking schemes when they don’t want them or haven’t asked for them is very wrong. We have already got people who are having to pay out substantial amounts of money to park outside their own homes.”

A spokesman for South Essex Parking Partnership said: “The introduction of any new parking restriction, resident parking scheme, or pay and display scheme, is only introduced if a traffic management need exists and comes as a direct response to resident or business demand and statutory consultation with affected residents, businesses and councils. The role of the South Essex Parking Partnership is to break even through the management of these schemes. Any surplus achieved will be invested back into traffic management related schemes.”

Basildon Council are set to vote on the proposals later this year.