Free Sunday parking, a “stop and shop” hour of free parking, COVID-safe payment and a new Havering Heroes free parking permit for NHS and care workers, are among the bold measures Havering Council has launched to support the high street as residents are encouraged to use local businesses.
The Council was one of the few local authorities to suspend parking charges as lockdown began. It is also one of the last to resume parking enforcement and charges.
From after Monday 3 August, all Council car parks and “stop and shop” on-street parking bays will be free of charge every Sunday.
The new “stop and shop” initiative also provides one hour free parking in more than 1,000 on-street parking bays from Monday to Saturday.
At the same time, there will also be the launch of a new parking app –RingGo – that will give a 20 per cent discount on all parking charges using COVID-safe contactless payment via app, mobile phone or text.
The new health and home care permit for NHS and care staff will support key workers to continue to move around the borough as the fight against the pandemic continues.
It will be reviewed regularly and will be in place until the threat of COVID-19 reduces significantly or a vaccine is available.
Further changes to parking enforcement will apply earlier. From Monday 13 July, parking enforcement will be broughtback for business and resident bays and current permit holders will receive a three-month extension from this date.
The return of parking enforcement is to ensure that the borough’s road network operates safely and efficiently, in particular for emergency services and to ensure that permit holders receive the service they pay for.
Havering opted to suspend parking charges to help residents who were working from home or self-isolating, and those carrying out volunteer work or dropping off food or medical supplies to vulnerable relatives or neighbours.
Councillor Damian White, Leader of Havering Council, said:
“We have worked hand-in-hand with businesses to help our town centres become COVID-secure and ready to recover. As confidence returns to the high street, so will residents and just as we all came together to fight the pandemic, we must remain united to support local businesses.
“This will be the first of many measures the council will announce over the next few weeks to support the high street, businesses and the borough in its recovery.
“ It will include a new campaign to encourage residents to #LoveHaveringShops and changes to our high streets to help shoppers maintain social distancing while enjoying our local shops.
“These initiatives support local businesses and give residents confidence that they can come to park, shop and enjoy our high streets safely.
“I am also extremely proud of our new Havering Heroes permit. We must not allow the life-saving work of our key workers to go unrecognised and our permit is a thank you for the sacrifices they have made during COVID-19. I hope other councils follow our lead.”
For all information on the return of parking charges, fees and enforcement, plus details of how to download the RinGo App, visit www.havering.gov.uk/parking