PLANS to fine drivers parking on grass verges, and stop millions of pounds being spent on repairs, have been delayed.

Motorists were set to face hefty punishments for driving or parking on verges in Southend from April 1, but fines won’t be issued until at least the summer.

A team of six highways inspectors will be roaming the streets of the town to catch those responsible.

Stringent training and delays recruiting the new officers have forced Southend Council to delay the plans.


Graham Martin, of Waltham Crescent, Southend, slammed the delays, and urged the council to fine drivers as quickly as possible.

The 68-year-old said: “They need to enforce it. The problem is so bad around me, and across the whole town.

“Why has it taken so long?

“There’s mud and grass left all over the road.”

The council spends £2milion every year repairing damage from people parking on verges and pavements.

This is a sharp increase from £500,000 six years ago.

Ron Woodley, deputy leader of the council, insisted the correct legislation is in place to begin fining drivers when the training has been completed.

He said: “We do have the power to do it. We are in charge of our roads, so we can implement the rules.

“There have been delays, but we have to get the training right.

“If people refuse to pay the fine, we will need to take them the court. They can’t be finding any loopholes and getting out of it.

“The training and their actions need to be spot on.”

Lorries and diggers cause the most amount of damage to grass verges.

The team of six will be on patrol, reporting photographs of damaged verges back to the council.

The overall cost of the extra staff is expected to be between £900,000 and 1.4m each year.

Mr Woodley added: “We have to be patient. We are coming after those who are responsible.

“We have to ensure the operational side of things is correct too.”

The council were given the green light for the plan in July.

When the scheme was announced, councillors revealed how they were “inundated” with complaints about verge parking.