HUNDREDS of extra parking spaces could be created on Southend’s seafront - including the Golden Mile - under proposals to boost business, swell council coffers and increase the number of people visiting the city.

The Southend Tourism Partnership heard a grand plan was being developed to create extra parking spaces in key locations and reduce the need for Southend Council to charge drivers to park after 6pm on the seafront by creating additional revenue.

The proposals include 120 extra spaces at the Seaway car park off Lucy Road, 100 new spaces in Marine Parade as well as removing double yellow lines and adding more pay and display places.

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Traders say Herringbone parking - similar to the seafront further west near Rossi’s and Genting Casino - should also be introduced to make life easier for motorists.

Seafront trader Paul Thompson, 46, has backed the plans and believes spaces could be created on Marine Parade - a “shared space” area which currently has no parking.

Mr Thompson, owner of Pebbles One Cafe, said: “The south and seaside of Marine Parade has what I call three pavements and would be ideal for extra parking. It would be good for the elderly and disabled people who want to get closer to the sea and beach. I think it would be a positive and also helps people who want to park up quickly to grab some food.

“It’s a huge area of wasted pavement as people prefer to walk along the pavement near the beach and sea. I also think having more parking helps the environment as it means cars are on the road less time.”

Southend Council plans to extend the charging period on the seafront from 6pm to 9pm.

Marc Miller, boss of Adventure Island - said: “Southend businesses require Southend Council and the current administration to be more creative in terms of parking provisions.

“We have identified hundreds of potential new parking spaces that would provide hassle-free car parking for our visitors and residents, not to mention extra pounds for the council’s coffers. We have great sympathy for those ‘powers to be’ who are trying to balance the books and we are more than happy to sit down with them and work together to implement change.”

Steven Wakefield, Independent councillor for highways said: “It’s the council and councillors who run the council and we must look with open minds. It’s been a tight budget and we have to balance our books, nobody wants to over charge if they don’t have to.”