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Southend: The Alexandra Street car park will be closed for resurfacing work

The barbers slammed Southend Council after a parking lot closed for renovation work … just like the non-essential retail store reopened for the first time this year.

Craig Smith, owner of Grateful Heads, says Monday was arguably the “biggest day” for businesses – but customers were forced to drive around town looking for parking after the Alexandra Street car park closed had been.

Customers were left late for their appointments after work to renovate the parking lot also began on Monday, which was originally scheduled for January.

The bosses say the surface renewal had to be delayed due to plans to install charging stations for electric vehicles so that the infrastructure could be set up.

Mr Smith said: “It is very annoying that on the biggest day customers could not be parked for stores that have suffered massively from the pandemic. Pretty much every customer who came into the store on Tuesday said how ridiculous it was.

“You had four months to reappear in the parking lot. So why not when the shops were closed? It’s just ridiculous. ”

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Chris Taylor, owner of Taylor’s Hairdressing, believes work should be delayed further until the buzz of reopening has “cooled down”.

He said, “It’s frustrating when there have been months after the lockdown to rebuild the parking lot and they choose to do it the week it reopens.

“You have the Clarence across the street, but without it you take 50 percent of the parking space off this end of the main street.

“Delaying a couple of weeks or even a month could have helped people get back on their feet. It was a breeze that this week would be busy. ”

Steve Moore, Executive Director, Neighborhood and Environment, said, “The Alexandra Street parking lot is part of our planned resurfacing program and should take place in January.

“However, since we planned to install EV charging stations at this point, the surface renewal was delayed so that the EV infrastructure could be installed.

“The renewal of the surface is planned for Friday, April 16th. The installation of the lines will also bring new charging stations for electric vehicles into operation.

“By installing cables across the entire parking lot, we can add more charging stations as demand increases.

“The resurfaced parking lot will serve the city for years to come, and I want to highlight the fact that there are various other parking lots within minutes of this location, including Tylers Avenue, Warrior Square and the University Square parking lot, all of which remain open for use. ”

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