MOTORISTS are being reminded about the rules of a free parking zone.
People are getting fined in High Street, Cosham, Portsmouth, because they’re forgetting to get a ticket from machines which entitles them to an hour’s free parking.
Charges apply afterwards.
Twenty-one drivers have been caught since the move was introduced on January 28.
Portsmouth City Council brought it in to prevent people being put off stopping while Northern Road Bridge is getting rebuilt.
As previously reported in The News, the bridge is closed to general traffic until July and cars are being diverted via a one-way system around High Street. The eastern side of the bridge has been demolished and new framework has been put in place.
Tony Broome, owner of Shoefix, in High Street, said some people weren’t aware they didn’t have to pay.
‘I know people who weren’t aware of the hour’s free parking and I’ve told them that to get it you need to press the green button on the ticket machine.
‘The free parking is a great idea. Anything which helps us through having all the road works done is really good.’
Mr Broome said the one-way route had boosted the number of visitors. ‘The one-way system is working,’ he said.
‘At least 98 per cent of the people I have spoken to think the same. People who haven’t come to Cosham before are visiting now. People aren’t using the diversion route that goes up to Portsmouth Marriott Hotel, they’re coming through Cosham instead.’
Alan Cufley, the council’s head of service for town centre management, said services were benefiting.
‘As well as helping Cosham to flow it has also helped raise awareness of places like the community centre and shown people who would normally just pass through the area parts of Cosham they wouldn’t normally see,’ he said.
Parking manager Michael Robinson said: ‘During the closure of Northern Road bridge to general traffic, we have introduced one hour’s free on-street parking in central Cosham to encourage people to keep using the area.
‘Ticket machines on High Street, Cosham, will give people their first hour for free, but drivers must still get a ticket showing when they arrived.
‘A number of one-hour waiting bays have also been introduced to the area.’