ONE-hour parking is set to be scrapped in Southend town centre and seafront car parks under Southend Council’s budget proposals, which will see some tickets almost double in price.

The council hopes to generate £700,000 by doing away with one, three and five hour parking bands. Instead motorists who will have to pay for two, four or six hours. There will also be some increases in residents’ parking permits.

The change will mean those who wanted to pop into town for an hour for £1.10p will now have to fork our £1.90 for a two hour ticket. A three hour stay costing £2.70 will, if the plans are agreed by full council in February, cost £4.70 and and a previous £5.70 five hour ticket will go in favour of six hours at £6.60.

Residents parking permits will increase from £15 to £30 for a second permit, £30 to £50 for a third and £50 to £75 for a fourth permit. All other parking fees will remain unchanged.

However, Tony Cox, councillor responsible for transport, says the changes will benefit visitors and businesses.

He said: “A lot of people are meter feeding. We want to ensure people do stay. With one hour’s parking people are coming back to put in another hour and by doing that it works out more expensive.

“By doing this we increase revenue as as helping businesses in the High Street by ensuring people stay longer.

“It works out cheaper for people to pay for two hours up front. It will make it cheaper for a lot of people.

“Looking at the bigger picture, when people go shopping it’s not usually to say take one item back and there are still areas in the broader shopping areas where this doesn’t apply. People also don’t usually visit the seafront for just one hour.

“I don’t accept this as an increase in parking charges. We’ve frozen parking charges unlike the previous administration when charges rose extortionately.”

The council is increasingly looking at sourcing its own revenue because of cuts in Government revenue which is set to disappear altogether by 2020.

Announcing the budget, which will be approved by cabinet next week, Ann Holland, deputy leader of the council said: “Parking charges will be frozen for on street and off street parking and still remain lower than other seaside areas but the single hour parking banding will be removed from our 13 central seafront and town centre car parks.

“For those wanting to pop into town though, one hour parking will still be available on street and at the same rate and at the Civic Centre complex, Beecroft and North Road and at all seven district car parks across the borough.”