There With You: Free parking for Tower Hamlets key workers

Parking restrictions have also been relaxed during the lockdown, with residents now able to park wit

Parking restrictions have also been relaxed during the lockdown, with residents now able to park without a permit in the area they live. Picture: Rosaleen Fenton - Credit: Archant

Tower Hamlets Council has given out more than 1,000 permits to key workers to allow them to park for free during the coronavirus pandemic.

The town hall said it had sent out bulk deliveries of permits to the health and emergency services for staff who might now be driving to work rather than taking public transport.

Parking restrictions have also been relaxed during the lockdown, with residents now able to park without a permit in the area they live.

A council spokesman said: “Nobody should be leaving their home unless it is absolutely essential. We understand however that some key workers will need to use their cars and then park when they return home. To make this easier we are relaxing parking restrictions in residential areas.

“If you are a resident, you will now be able to park in resident bays, permit holder only, shared use bays, business bays and pay and display’ bays in the controlled parking mini-zone that you live in, without a permit. If you receive a ticket, you can appeal this with proof of address, and we will cancel the fine.

“Residents should be in no doubt that this is not a green light for inconsiderate or dangerous driver behaviour. Our enforcement teams will intervene quickly to enforce against and remove vehicles as necessary where such incidents occur.”

The government this week announced new measures, agreed by the Local Government Secretary Robert Jenrick, councils and the Local Government Association, that critical key workers will be able to use council parking bays free of charge.

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The changes apply to all on-street parking and council-run car parks and will suspend charges for health workers, social care workers and NHS volunteers.

Councils are providing care workers and volunteers with permits they can display in their windscreen to ensure they avoid parking tickets.

NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said: “Free parking will make a big difference for hundreds of thousands of frontline staff, but this is just the start, and we will setting out further support offers over the coming days and weeks, to ensure the NHS looks after those who look after all of us.”