A spokesperson for the Southend Parking Alliance has confirmed that Southend will have the UK’s first car park-free town centre by 2018.

The SPA added that the decision was taken to promote to use of public transport for workers and shoppers alike. 

Dutch-born David Scaap of the SPA said: ‘Southend’s town centre and seafront have thousands of car parking spaces that are frankly unnecessary when existing public transport facilities are amongst the best in the world.’

‘By removing these 5000 or so spaces, the land can be used for much-needed retail development. There is even the possibility that flats could be built.’

‘People need to be more positive about our town’s buses. As long as you have the correct change ready, the whole experience will be hassle-free.’

‘During periods when buses are infrequent, we would also love to promote the idea of walking. The benefits for the environment and human health speak for themselves.’

‘Cycling is also an option, and we will be installing secure bicycle racks all over Southend in time for the changes.’

Reg Hollister owns an amusement arcade on the Seafront, and he told Southend News Network that he is backing the proposals. 

Accompanied by various representatives of Southend Borough Council, he said: ‘I am backing the proposals.’