Fears over ‘parking free-for-all’ in Southsea after zones are scrapped

A residents' parking sign in Bramble Road, Southsea, in the MB zone that is due to be scrapped
A residents' parking sign in Bramble Road, Southsea, in the MB zone that is due to be scrapped
Cllr Rob Humby (left) with Matthew Riches (right) Skanksa's business director for Hampshire Highways

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FRUSTRATED residents fear parking in Southsea will descend into chaos after their parking zones were abolished.

Portsmouth Tory traffic boss Ken Ellcome has decided to permanently axe the MB and MC zones covering 3,000 homes south of Fratton due to concerns they had on ‘displacement parking’ – when cars without permits are left in surrounding roads.

As confirmed by a Freedom of Information request, council staff expected take up of MC permits to increase and space to decrease over 12 months. Yet the zone was suspended before the benefits were in place.

Resident Matt Smart

But neighbours felt they had not been listened to, as they had told the council they would pay for a permit if it meant keeping their zones.

Adrian Reed, 34, of Jessie Road, was disappointed.

He said: ‘The zones had the overwhelming support of the residents.

‘This could turn this part of Southsea into one big free-for-all. It’s disappointing for hard-working people who come home, and can’t find a single space; people who work shifts. It’s an unfair situation.’

Southsea resident Matt Smart said zones with part-time parking restrictions would have deterred students from leaving cars around long-term. And he said the council should have waited longer to see benefits from the MC zone, introduced before the local election last year and then scrapped along with MB later in the year.

He said: ‘Two-hour restrictions between 4pm and 6pm would have cleared a lot of the student cars, allowing residents to park at peak times.

‘As confirmed by a Freedom of Information request, council staff expected the take-up of MC permits to increase and space to decrease over 12 months. Yet the zone was suspended before the benefits were in place.’

But neighbours living near Albert Road said motorists without permits used their roads as a ‘dumping ground’.

Alan Tudor, of Albert Grove, told Cllr Ellcome: ‘This is a heartfelt plea to not cause us any more grief reimplementing the zones. We suffered misery and chaos.’

Resident Barbara Jones backed the decision as she said people without a car had been unfairly treated and couldn’t get permits for a visitor.

Cllr Ellcome also decided to suspend most of the nearby LB parking zone to try to ensure commuters, students and people with work vehicles don’t park in the former MB and MC zones.

He said: ‘I am aware this is a difficult decision and it’s upsetting for residents of the MB and MC zones. It’s not for political reasons; my view is that the potential for what happened last time, is likely to come back.’