TEN Southend Council-owned car parks were closed to tackle the spread of coronavirus.

The council acted after reports of groups gathering on Southend seafront and in parks - against strict Government rules.

The council has now closed the following car parks in “hotspot” locations to stop big groups gathering:

  • East Beach
  • Shoebury Common South
  • Shoebury Common North
  • Thorpe Esplanade
  • University Square
  • Southchurch East car park
  • Gunners Park, car park 1 and 2
  • Gasworks car park
  • Fairheads Green (next to the Sealife Centre)

Seaway was also closed off.

One-hour parking restrictions have also been lifted to promote people staying at home.

Parking enforcement in payand-display car parks and onstreet parking bays has also been scaled back.

Ron Woodley, cabinet member for transport, capital and inward investment, said: “While the majority of residents have adhered to the Government instruction to stay at home other than in very specific circumstances, we have seen too many examples of people gathering in groups, particularly in the seafront area.

“This is unacceptable and we hope that closing these car parks will further discourage groups gathering in these hotspot areas, including parks.”