Published: 10:25, 22 May 2020
| Updated: 10:59, 22 May 2020
Parking charges are being reintroduced to the borough next month.
Drivers in Gravesend will need to pay to use the council's car parks from Monday, June 1.
There have been no charges for people in the borough since March 24 while government restrictions were in place to combat the spread of coronavirus.
Civil enforcement officers in Gravesham have been offering advice to drivers in the mean time and only issuing penalty charge notices where vehicles have been causing obstructions.
Explaining the decision, council leader John Burden (Lab), said: "While so many people were spending more time at home and with most town centre businesses closed, it was sensible to allow free parking in our car parks to encourage residents to park responsibly and ease the pressures on residential streets.
“However, with the government easing restrictions, people are returning to work and to Gravesend town centre.
“After careful consideration, we, along other local authorities in Kent, have decided the time is right to reintroduce parking charges and return to normal levels of parking enforcement.
"Our town centre is a very different place to how it was before lockdown..."
“With social distancing measures still in place our town centre is a very different place to how it was before lockdown started in March with formal queues to enter stores and restricted walkways.
“The reintroduction of parking charges and enforcement has a part to play in controlling the numbers of people visiting the town while ensuring emergency and delivery vehicles have unobstructed access.”
Drivers are being advised to download and use the RingGo app to make payment, which Cllr Burden says "is the safest way to pay for your parking".
He added: “For those without the app, I can assure you our pay and display ticket machines will be regularly cleaned and I would remind you to observe social distancing if you need to queue to pay at a machine and use hand sanitizer once you have completed your transaction.”
For more information on parking in the borough or how to renew parking permits, visit the council's website.
More by this authorSean McPolin