Cosham shops back plan to axe clampers

NOT POPULAR The Cosham car park where the clampers operate
NOT POPULAR The Cosham car park where the clampers operate
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COSHAM shop owners suffering the effects of car clampers operating nearby have welcomed plans for Portsmouth City Council to replace them.

Traders in the High Street say they support Cllr Jason Fazackarley’s bid to boot City Watch Enforcement clampers from a car park in Old Market Road.

Yesterday The News reported that Cllr Fazackarley met the directors of Lee Baron Limited, who manage the car park, in a bid to strike a deal which could see the council enforcing parking there instead.

Motorists who break the rules would be given a £50 penalty. At the moment, they are clamped and must pay a £205 release fee.

Sheena Adams, an assistant at Franks Jewellers, said: ‘The council enforcing it would be an ideal situation. It will be a relief for motorists who want to shop in Cosham and not feel afraid about doing so. The council’s pay and display charges will probably be higher, but it will be a small price compared to being clamped.’

Pat Read, 62, manager of the Naomi House children’s hospice shop, said: ‘It’s great the council is finally getting involved to put a stop to this.’

Retailers said they were feeling the effects of slow trade.

Felicity Doughty, 61, interior designer at Drapewise Furnishers, said: ‘People are terrified of being clamped and we’re losing out because of it. It’s been a struggle.’

Clampers City Watch issued fines worth £40,000 last month. The car park is owned by the city council, which leases it to Lionsgate Properties and Lee Baron Limited manages it. Lee Baron rejected the city council’s initial offer but was open to the idea of the council enforcing parking.

The two parties will meet in nine days’ time.