Lines are drawn over the fight for a parking space

SPLIT Derek Wareham from Percy Road in Southsea
SPLIT Derek Wareham from Percy Road in Southsea
Dr John Steadman, archivist of Portsmouth History Centre based at Portsmouth Central Library     Picture:  Malcolm Wells

Your chance to trace past family members on the web

0
Have your say

Percy Road is a quiet residential street in Southsea which links Fawcett Road in the west to Francis Avenue in the east.

Cars park on both sides of the road, and around a quarter of the houses on either side of Talbot Road, which splits it in two, are student homes.

But the street is now divided by a new a residents’ parking scheme.

On Thursday, after campaigns from both sides, Portsmouth City Council’s leader for traffic and transport, Cllr Jason Fazackarley, agreed the houses between Fawcett Road and Talbot Road will be included – but those between Talbot Road and Francis Avenue will not.

And Percy Road is just the most recent place where the city’s most controversial parking policy has split communities.

Derek Wareham, an opponent of the schemes, who lives at the Francis Avenue end of Percy Road, said: ‘The policies don’t achieve anything. They’re just to make money for the council. I’m glad it won’t be here.’

Residents’ parking schemes mean only homeowners on affected roads are given a free pass to help them park close to their home.

A second pass can be bought, for £53.50 per year, and a third, if granted by the council’s parking team, costs £107.50 for 12 months.

Businesses can also buy passes, at £107.50 per year for the first permit, £215 per year for a second, and any subsequent permits at £325 per year per permit.

The first scheme was introduced in Old Portsmouth in 1999. Since then 29 more have come into operation, covering around 20 per cent of the city.

Four more, including the Orchard Road scheme which will include half of Percy Road, have been approved, but have not yet started.

For a scheme to be put in place, residents or councillors must request a survey of their area.

If a majority wants a program introduced, the proposal will go for public consultation, and if it wins approval a second time, it will be introduced.

Cllr Fazackarley said: ‘It isn’t about what the council wants, and doesn’t make us money. In most cases, we just about break even.’

In the last year, schemes have been rejected, including one at Stamshaw North, after residents and businesses voted against them.

Mr Wareham led half of Percy Road’s resistance to permits being introduced.

Twenty-one people voted against, and 12 in favour.

He said: ‘There’s no parking problem here. I’ve been living here since 1969 and I don’t see why I should have traffic wardens up and down the street every few minutes. It’s not fair if I need to have someone come in to work on my house, that they have to be charged for parking. We don’t need a scheme, and across the city, most aren’t necessary.’

But at the Fawcett Road end of the road, where the vote was 23-9 in favour of joining the scheme, Jo Bushrod said: ‘I have rheumatoid arthritis, and my partner and I have a son. He does lots of activities, and my partner works. Our two cars are vital for us, and it’s important to park close to where I live. We’re close to Fratton station and Fratton Park, which means we’re often unable to park near our house. This is great news. It will make a difference to our lives. If there’s a cost, we’ll pay. It’s worth it.’

Residents’ parking was designed to control parking close to railway stations, tourist attractions and events such as football matches, where people from outside an area looked to park for free.

In Old Portsmouth, residents were unhappy because people parked while they took ferries, or visited shops.

But some areas have asked for schemes because of other factors, including fears a scheme close by will force cars onto their roads instead.

Cllr Fazackarley, who has started a city-wide review of residents’ parking, said: ‘Those newer types of requests are part of the reason for the review.

‘We have a very serious problem with parking in this city. It’s a small, Victorian city with an enormous number of cars and residents’ parking is one way to try to control that. We are looking into all options.’

OTHER VIEWS

Portsmouth City Council’s Labour group leader, Cllr Jim Patey, introduced the first residents’ parking scheme to the city in 1999, when his group ran the council.

He welcomed the idea of a review.

He said: ‘They’ve been around for 12 years and it’s good to review them. We should consider all ideas. But they have helped a lot of people. They cause some controversy, but the majority of people who vote have the say over whether a scheme is put in place. So people do want them. And they help people park near their homes, which because of commuters, tourists, shoppers and football fans they previously hadn’t been able to.’

Cllr Luke Stubbs, the Tory spokesman for transport, said: ‘Every time a new scheme is put in place, there’s an overspill of traffic, and so the next area has difficulties and requests a scheme. There’s not much space in the city.’