RESIDENTS in isolation or working from home will be able to park outside their property without risking a parking fine, thanks to a new rule from Southend Council.

With thousands being asked to stay at home in a bid to curtail the spread of coronavirus, the council says it will suspend all single yellow line enforcement to provide extra parking.

Council bosses admitted “it would be wrong” for residents to face fines or for them to put told to move while they worked from home.

With fewer cars on the road, the council will also be using the opportunity to carry out additional pot hole repairs and improve roads.

The suspension of the parking restrictions comes as workers across the country were told to stay home rather than go to the office to stop the spread of coronavirus, which has infected more than 70 people across the county.

The Government hopes the call to stay home will lower the number of cases while reducing the risk of the virus spreading further and prevent NHS services becoming overwhelmed.

Independent councillor Ron Woodley, who oversees transport in the town, announced the move in a bid to bring some good news to residents self-isolating or working from make-shift offices at home.

He said: “We are suspending all single yellow line enforcement.

“There are a lot of people working from home or in self-isolation so it is only right that we do it.

“It would be wrong to ask people who are staying in to have to move their car because they had nowhere to park.

“This will give more space for people to park as I know a lot of people don’t have their own driveways. We will review this every month but while people are at home and working, the message is that we are doing this.”

Mr Woodley also explained that while there are fewer cars on the roads, the authority will be undertaking repair work on potholes throughout the borough.

Under the plans, residents will no longer need to report potholes and instead the council will send out two teams each day to search for problem areas and fill any pothole they find.

Mr Woodley added: “We are going to have a couple of teams going around our roads checking for potholes and repairing on site so that people don’t need to ring in.

“The teams will be going around in twos and if they see a pothole, they will repair it. We are doing this because there are fewer cars on the road but also because we have had around 1,800 calls about potholes.”

In the 2020 budget, councillors allocated an extra £2.7million to roads and pavements.

About £1million of that will be used solely for road and pavement resurfacing and repairing potholes, it is in addition to £2million already set aside the previous year.