SOUTHEND Council is set to perform a u-turn over ‘outrageous’ prices it quoted residents to get dropped kerbs installed outside their homes.

The authority, fresh from prosecuting David Gordon, of Shoebury, for parking on his drive because he did not have a dropped kerb, had written to streets in Eastwood, telling residents they took could face fines if they did the same.

But it caused an uproar from social housing tenants in Highbank Close in Eastwood, with people being quoted almost £1,500 for the works, and they accused the council of milking it.

But in an email seen by the Echo, the authority’s highway chief, David Gilkes, said: “Whilst the quotations are higher than anticipated they are not exorbitant.

“That being said, given the feedback we have been receiving we feel we need to look at the situation again and this is a key area of the review for the permanent vehicle crossing policy.”

He added a new report will soon come to cabinet, which is likely to contain a review of the fees.

At the moment, residents are directed by the council to three contractors to carry out the work, with each one giving a quote.

A council spokesman told the Echo that is to looking to simplify the process and make it cheaper by looking at just having one single contractor to do the works.

He claimed that could mean it would be cheaper for residents.

Mr Gordon, of Bunters Avenue, was taken to court in July for parking on his drive, and he was fined £582 after being caught out by council cameras.

He blamed internal mistakes from the council and said the authority was being heavy handed.

The council, who has only took him to court of out 230 warnings handed out in 2014/15, to residents for driving over dropped kerbs, denied this.

But he said: “I’ve got a new application in with the council but their contractors have quoted me £1,200 which is outrageous.

“In a worst case scenario, the materials would add up to around £500, so that means they are changing £700 for the labour.

“It’s nothing but a joke, but they have a camera going around doing people for parking on their drive.”I would support this review as I’ve had around 20 residents from across the borough get in touch with me, each with their own quotation scare story, after I wrote into the Echo about this.

“It would appear the contractors were just able to charge god knows what.”

A LEADING councillor says that the u-turn has been launched after ‘customer feedback’ from motorists.

Angry residents have said the council’s three contractors for dropped kerb works charge excessive prices, so the authority is looking at only having one firm carry out the works.

It claims that would make it more cheaper.

Independent Martin Terry, who is responsible for transport, said: “However, in response to customer feedback, we are exploring whether this process can be simplified and whether better value for money could be secured for local people by appointing this work to a single contractor.

“This proposition is at an early stage and we are in the process of organising a members’ workshop to assess options. Following that workshop, any proposed amendments would go to the Cabinet for consideration.”

But the council found an ally in the form of Keith Roe, 57, of Rayleigh.

Mr Row, of Windsor Way, said: “When I used to take my daughter out in her pram on busy roads like Bournes Road, cars would all park on the footpath and I’d have to find a break and go into the road before coming back onto the pavement.

“It’s very dangerous and so I agree with any fines because a lot of these people have drives but don’t use them.”