It’s illegal – but parking problem keeps happening

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Drivers are getting away with parking illegally and blocking pavements in a Portsmouth street.

A number of cars and vans have been left in Glebefield Gardens and surrounding roads, some entirely covering the pavement.

Resident Paul Marsh said the issue came to a head when a van, pictured, was parked leaving no room for wheelchair users and people with pushchairs.

But he found that Portsmouth City Council is not responsible for moving vehicles or issuing fixed penalty notices unless the vehicles are parked over road markings such as double yellow lines.

The council said the power to act on vehicles blocking pavements lay with Hampshire Constabulary – but that the police don’t have the resources to step in.

Paul, 33, said: ‘This is a problem that occurs frequently.

‘People who work at Queen Alexandra Hospital park in these roads and that adds to the congestion.

‘With this van, I came home from work and was immediately concerned for the safety of the public.’

He said that people prevented from using the pavement had no alternative pathway on the other side of the road, which opens on to a car park.

Portsmouth City Council parking operations manager Michael Robinson said the picture showed the van was parked illegally.

But he added: ‘As the van is causing an obstruction it’s for the police to deal with and they’ve been notified.

‘It’s a frustrating situation, but unfortunately the council doesn’t have powers to enforce or deal with obstructions.

‘There don’t appear to be any parking restrictions in the area and if it’s unrestricted parking we can’t issue a penalty charge notice.’

Conservative councillor Robert New, cabinet member for environment and community safety, said: ‘The police just don’t have the resources to deal with these issues.

‘I’ve had this problem myself in the past and it can be frustrating.’

Julie Knight, spokesperson for Hampshire Constabulary, said responsibility to remove the van did lie with the police.

She said: ‘Where there is a clear safety issue, for example if a vehicle is preventing emergency access, then action will normally be taken, which may include contacting the owner to have it moved.’

Chris Martin, operations manager for Remserv, which owns the van pictured, said: ‘I understand there was inconvenience for pedestrians and I can only apologise on behalf of the company.’