PARKING charges will be introduced in nine Portsmouth City Council car parks in a bid to make sure residents can find spaces.
Social housing blocks in Landport, Somers Town and Buckland currently have areas intended for the people who live there, but where anyone can park for free.
This has led to consistent complaints from council tenants that they struggle to find spaces because non-residents take advantage of the lack of charges.
So the council has decided to introduce a scheme where residents can rent spaces for a levy of £1.85 per week – while everyone else can do the same for £2.25 a week, plus VAT.
The council insists it has chosen blocks where a majority of occupants were in favour, pointing out that opposition from people living in Thorrowgood House and Clarendon Place led to the schemes being scrapped.
But there have been concerns raised by local people that they will be asked to pay almost £100 extra on top of the service charges they already pay.
One resident in Lords Court wrote to the council and said: ‘This is a money-making scheme by the council to get yet more money from us people living in the surrounding area.
‘There has never been a problem parking in this area as there is enough space for everyone.
‘At least give residents one free permit, especially those in council properties as a lot of us are on low incomes.’
And a petition from 18 residents of Wimpole Court, two residents of Lords Court, one resident of Crown Court and three residents of Clifton Street, to the council reads: ‘The majority of us are asking you to respect our wishes and leave our car parks and surrounding roads alone.
‘After 5pm when we need the spaces, the car parks are practically empty anyway.’
But in response council, officers said they will not make any money from the schemes, most of the residents had voted in favour of them, and they have tried to keep costs down.
Traffic and transport boss Cllr Jason Fazackarley said: ‘We have only gone ahead with these charges where there was majority support from residents.’
The car parks are in Central Street, King Albert Street, Lords Court, Union Place, Wimpole Court, Garfield Road, Prince’s Street, Sultan Road, and Victoria Street.