Parking Policy Statement is the right way forward

Steve's baby daughter made amazing progress this week, or so his wife thought

STEVE CANAVAN: It was a lot of rattle over just a little roll

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Have your say

The truth is that parking will always be a contentious issue in Portsmouth. Our densely-populated city with its many narrow, terraced streets was created long before the car was king of the road.

So it’s not surprising that today the problem of where to put the ever-increasing number of vehicles is top of many residents’ list of priorities.

Then there’s the question of how to avoid alienating visitors, whose money is so vital to our economy.

Today we report how Portsmouth City Council’s cabinet has decided to adopt a framework of ideas on how to manage traffic.

It’s sensible, joined-up thinking, attempting to look at the problems of parking on Portsea Island as a whole rather than a more piecemeal approach where individual issues are tackled, sometimes in what could be described as a somewhat knee-jerk response to complaints.

The Portsmouth Parking Policy Statement has been put together by council officers and contains a number of interesting suggestions, including giving short-stay visitors priority when parking at the seafront, Portsmouth city centre and Portsmouth Harbour.

Meanwhile priority could be given to shoppers stopping for short periods in Portsmouth’s smaller shopping areas to increase footfall.

These are both sensible ideas that would make the city a more welcoming place to locals and those from outside.

Specifically for people who live in the city, there is talk of priority on-street parking spaces in built-up areas and more parking allocated overall to homeowners.

Again, we like the sound of that if it can be achieved.

An important part of any traffic strategy for Portsmouth has to be the new Tipner park and ride scheme, due to open next year.

Everything must be done to ensure this is used by commuters, shoppers and visitors, thus reducing congestion on the roads and easing demand for parking.

The council says public consultations and meetings will be held before changes are made.

So don’t miss the chance to have your say.