Plan to make Portsmouth drivers pay to park for longer to be decided in days

Motorists in Portsmouth could be made to pay to park for longer

Motorists in Portsmouth could be made to pay to park for longer

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A CONTROVERSIAL plan to charge people to park for longer on more than 50 roads in Portsmouth could be rolled out within days.

Portsmouth City Council wants to get motorists to pay right through from 8am to 9pm, as opposed to only 6pm.

It will be interesting to see if the council is prepared to listen to local people on this issue. If we are not, then what is the point in doing consultation?

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Lib Dem leader

Residents say the move – which has been backed by just one person during a public consultation – will pile more pressure on their roads, as drivers will just try to find areas that are free to stay.

Businesses and pubs fear the added costs will deter visitors.

The details of the proposals will be pored over by Portsmouth Tory traffic boss, Councillor Jim Fleming, at a public meeting on Thursday, where he could approve the changes. They would cost £3,400 to introduce.

A public consultation attracted 72 objections and just one in favour.

Lib Dem boss and former council leader Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson said the consultation exercise would have been a complete waste if the council chose to ignore local people and enforce the rules anyway.

Cllr Vernon-Jackson said: ‘It will be interesting to see if the council is prepared to listen to local people on this issue. If not, then what is the point in doing consultation? It would show the council’s mind was already made up and people wouldn’t have been treated fairly.’

Changes would be made to parking spaces on roads including the well-used bays in Elm Grove and Clarence Esplanade in Southsea and High Street, Old Portsmouth.

Cllr Fleming has said the move is ‘not being proposed to fill any revenue gap’, but is part of a ‘wider strategy’ aimed at getting better use of the limited parking that is available in the city.

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