PLANS have finally been put in place to tackle ongoing problems with parking in Portsmouth.
The city council’s cabinet decided at a meeting yesterday to adopt a framework of ideas on how to manage traffic.
The Portsmouth Parking Policy Statement, put together by council officers, suggests giving short-stay visitors priority when parking at the seafront, Portsmouth city centre and Portsmouth Harbour.
Free on and off-street parking spaces could be removed in these areas to maximise income.
Priority could be given to shoppers stopping for short periods in Portsmouth’s smaller shopping areas to increase footfall.
Residents could get priority using on-street parking spaces in built-up areas and more parking could be allocated overall to homeowners.
The council also wants to ensure Tipner’s park and ride scheme, which is due to open next year, will be the first choice for commuters, shoppers and visitors as that will ease congestion on the roads and reduce pollution.
Councillor Luke Stubbs, who represents the Eastney and Craneswater ward, said he was concerned about the removal of free spaces – as it could lead to more visitors parking in streets where there are no restrictions.
‘Residents will be concerned about the implications of that,’ he said.
‘Visitors will end up parking in streets which are already overcrowded.
‘If this goes through, then these streets will come under pressure from displacement parking.
‘I welcome the fact we have got a plan in front of us.
‘One of the mistakes the council makes is not having a strategy behind what it is doing.’
The document said people who live in a residents’ parking zone could pay for their first parking permit – but that was rejected by the cabinet because it wants to keep them free.
Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson, who welcomed the report, said: ‘We are a city that was built before the car was popular. The geography of the place means there will never be as many parking spaces as people want.’
Public consultations and meetings will be held before any changes are made.