McDonald’s parking row as council tells homeowners to make way for drive thru queues

Helena Horton
Hundreds of McDonald's drive thrus are reopening - Martin Dalton/Shutterstock

A council has told residents they cannot park outside their own houses as the McDonald's drive thru reopens, in order to make way for queues.

Households in Southend were given just a day's notice to move their cars from outside their homes before the fast-food outlet reopened.

McDonald's is opening hundreds more of its venues for drive-thru this week, with long queues of cars anticipated as people gear up to have their first Big Mac since lockdown began. Some reopened sites have reported queues of up to two hours.

In preparation for anticipated long queues, Southend Council posted a notice on Monday evening suspending parking on the adjacent roads for up to two weeks.

A spokesperson for McDonald's said: "Our team in Southend has been proactive in engaging with the police and Southend Council to help manage the impact that re-opening will have on residents.

"Last week the restaurant team wrote to residents in anticipation that there may be some temporary disruption, and we appreciate their patience over the next few days."

And Ron Woodley, Southend Council cabinet member for transport, said: "We were asked to work closely with Essex Police to ensure a temporary and safe traffic management system is in place.

"[This is] to accommodate an expected influx of visitors to both sites, as McDonald's re-open all their drive-thur restaurants to the public.

"We are suspending parking on the carriageway along Cokefield Avenue and Pantile Avenue between 10am and 10pm.

"The suspension [will be] in place for up to two weeks if necessary, but this will be under constant review and reduced and removed as soon as possible."

The fast-food giant is aiming to open 1,000 of its drive-thru or delivery outlets by Thursday.

It has put safety measures in place including Perspex screens, face coverings, gloves and social distancing measures.

Other chain restaurants including Subway, Burger King, Pret A Manger, Nando's and Wagamama are making plans to reopen more of their sites.