Campaign underway to resurrect Southsea parking zones after ‘people power’ victory

Resident's parking zones in Portsmouth have caused controversy
Resident's parking zones in Portsmouth have caused controversy
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CAMPAIGNERS have launched a fight to bring back two resident parking zones after the success of a ‘people power’ campaign to save another one from the axe.

Supporters are urging Portsmouth Tory traffic boss Ken Ellcome to play fair and bring back the MB and MC zones, covering 3,000 homes south of Fratton, in light of his U-turn over plans to suspend the LB zone in Somers Town.

Cllr Ellcome has made a U-turn over LB because of people power, but apparently people power wasn’t enough for the MB and MC zones.

Lib Dem Central Southsea councillor Suzy Horton

Councillor Ellcome bowed to public pressure and decided at a public meeting last week not to lift parking restrictions in LB without consulting anyone about it.

He also said a survey revealed 69 per cent of LB residents would pay £30 for their first permit in the zone, another reason for keeping it.

But Southsea councillors say the majority of residents who lived in the MB and MC zones said they would pay to protect their parking spaces – yet Cllr Ellcome got rid of them. Cllr Suzy Horton, who represents the Lib Dems for Central Southsea ward, is lobbying to get the zones back.

She said: ‘Cllr Ellcome had the same evidence, that the majority of people in MB and MC wanted the zones to stay. It was the injustice that got to people as well as the annoyance of the parking situation. Cllr Ellcome has made a U-turn over LB because of people power, but apparently people power wasn’t enough for the MB and MC zones. It looks like Central Southsea is being targeted when Cllr Ellcome has been reasonable to surrounding wards.’

Seventy-five per cent of MB residents wanted to pay to keep their zone, and 69 per cent of MC residents said the same. Cllr Horton added: ‘If we went back to the MB people and said you can’t have a full-time zone, but instead you could have part-time restrictions, as was the case with the MC version, they wouldn’t be against it.

‘That’s because their lives are hell at the moment and they would take something, rather than nothing.’

Steve Shoesmith, of Bramble Road, Southsea, came under the MC zone.

He said: ‘The parking situation is so bad. I can’t even get a space during the day now. It’s just pathetic. It’s not fair at all, it’s one thing for one and one thing for another.’

But Cllr Ellcome warned there were no immediate plans to bring back the MB and MC zones. He said: ‘They won’t be coming back in the short-term. The decision I made in November was that MB and MC could come back as part of a review including wider areas of the south of the city. MB and MC were brought in against the advice of council officers, LB wasn’t.

‘The impact MB and MC had in terms of displacement parking caused the Lib Dems to survey five other areas.

‘There wasn’t that problem with LB.’