Havana Close car park

Surveyor and Municipal and County Engineer Volume 130 (1967) provides a description of Romford’s first multi-storey car park.

The new £267,000 multi-story car park to accommodate 763 cars in Havana Close, Romford will be opened for public use on 13th November (1967). The car park will be opened by the Mayor Alderman W.A. Sibley, JP.

The building is a joint enterprise by the Council of the London Borough of Havering and Ind Coope and Allsop Ltd.

The area of the parking floors, excluding the ramps is 175,000 ft2 (four acres) and the weight of the concrete used (excluding the ramps) is 6,000 tons.

Structural steelwork is by Burton Constructional Engineering Co. Ltd. Of Burton on Trent.

The opening was reported in the Romford Recorder of 17th November 1967

Mayor of Havering Ald. Bill Sibley opened Romford’s first multi-storey car park on Monday – and appealed to town centre traders to publicise the £267,000 answer to the town’s parking problem.

It will prove a boon, not only to the motorist, but to every trader he said. He asked shopkeepers to tell customers of the new facilities.

“It is now possible for the people of Barking, Dagenham, Ilford and Brentwood and other areas to shop in Romford knowing that there is somewhere to park their cars for as long a perios as is necessary for such a modest fee”, said Ald. Sibley.

The car park in Havana Close is a joint venture between Havering Council and Ind Coope Brewery. The ground is rented to the council at a peppercorn rent.

Ground floor is used by the brewery as a warehouse.

After unveiling a commemorative plaque Ald. Sibley was handed the first season ticket by Eric King, the Borough Engineer.

Access to the car park is fully automatic. On approaching the barrier the motorist will see from illuminated signs showing whether there is space or not. If it is full he will be channelled via another lane to the service road.

The opening comes two weeks after the introduction of the parking meter scheme in the town centre.

The charge for parking between 9 a.m. and midnight is 1s. and outside these hours 2s.6d. It is open every day including Sundays. Season tickets are also available.

The Romford Times report of the opening on 15th November 1967 explained the reason for the new car park.

“The multi storey stack is expected to relieve some of the congestion that is plaguing the town-especially on market days. Some idea of the chaos that the car park is expected to solve was seen on Saturday when Romford came to a standstill as motorists fought for places in the town’s shilling a time car parks”.

The car park is now integrated with the Brewery Shopping Centre which opened in 2001.