ENFORCEMENT officers will spend their evenings patrolling residential streets rather than off-street car parks.
It comes as the times parking fees will apply for car parks in Portsmouth have been reduced by two hours.
By reducing it down by two hours it makes better use of our enforcement officers.Councillor Jim Fleming
A number of off-street car parks in the city, such as the D-Day Museum, the Pyramids in Southsea and Stubbington Avenue, will now be free after 8pm instead of after 10pm.
Councillor Jim Fleming, cabinet member for traffic and transportation at Portsmouth City Council, made the decision at a meeting last week.
Proposals had been put forward by officers to reduce the time by one hour to 9pm but Cllr Fleming changed it to 8pm.
He said: ‘By reducing it down by two hours it makes better use of our enforcement officers.
‘Rather than them walking around off-street car parks until 10pm, they can be checking residential streets.
‘I will be using the additional resources that will be freed up by bringing down those times to put these officers in residential streets to deal with people who do not have parking permits.
‘It will also help from a safety point of view with people who park on double-yellow lines.
‘It is dangerous to be parking there.’
Following the decision, it was announced by the finance officer that reducing the times would lose the council £14,000 a year in income.
Cllr Fleming added that he hoped people would see parking schemes were not about bringing in money but improving parking for people.
Other car parks include Broad Street in Old Portsmouth, Southsea Common, Canoe Lake, Clarence Street in the city centre, Wootton Street in Cosham and London Road.
Liberal democrat leader for Portsmouth Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson said there did not seem to be a strategy to changing parking times.
‘Some off-street car parks have charges for 24-hours,’ he said.
‘There isn’t any standardisation and if seems changes are being made if and when.’
As previously reported in The News at the same meeting Cllr Fleming refused a proposal to increase times for on-street parking charges to 9pm. More than 70 people had objected to the plans which campaigners said would have affected visitors to the city, residents and business-owners.