THE new parking pass in Southend has already been branded a failure after technical glitches and a slow uptake since its launch.

Just 537 drivers have signed up for the money saving scheme so far, after it was launched last week.

The parking pass reduces the cost of parking in the town for regular users, and requires drivers to sign up for a year.

The pass costs £8.50 per month.

Its Mobon app saw countless technical glitches, with car parks placed into the wrong zones in the town, and the registration dates mixed up.


Tony Cox, leader of Southend’s Conservatives, added: “It’s a failure, you couldn’t make it up.

“It’s such a small number to be talking about, especially when you consider how the pass was widened to visitors too.”

But council bosses insist they expected technical glitches as the idea is the first in the country.

Sharon Harrington, head of traffic and highways, said: “The Southend Pass allows people to explore all our fantastic borough has to offer with discounted parking costs.

“As of April 5, 537 passes had been purchased, and we are seeing good numbers continue to purchase the pass each day.

“In addition to this, the pass has been used for nearly 700 parking sessions across Southend, showing that those who own the pass are keen to use it, and are making the most of their discounted parking.”

Earlier this year, Southend Council set the target of 10,000 passes to be purchased per year.

This allows for increased spending on roads and pavements.

Deputy leader Ron Woodley himself was given the wrong expiry date for his own parking pass.

Mr Woodley added: “This is the first in the country, we couldn’t learn from anyone.

“There was always going to be technical issues, but they’ve all been fixed.

“The Thorpe Esplanade car park was put into zone two, rather than 1a, which has been switched back.

“The shops haven’t opened yet, more people will sign up when they do.

“We will see more and more drivers sign up as we move into the summer. It’s a rolling scheme, people can sign up whenever.

“This is a good start.”

To sign up, visit