THE need for a Portsmouth-wide parking strategy and curbing the number of cars being left on non-permit zone residential roads were the hot topics at a traffic debate.
A council panel leading a review into how best to resolve the city’s parking problems listened to fresh concerns and calls for action.
What we need is a city-wide parking strategy. If there are to be resident parking zones, then they should be across the city.Jerry Brown
Resident Jerry Brown spoke against the proposed extension of parking charges in streets around the seafront, which he says will force more visitors to park in side roads.
He said: ‘I did a survey, the only one that was done, independently, of over 300 Portsmouth council taxpayers, and the results showed that over 90 per cent of those surveyed were opposed to the changes and thought them unfair on local residents.’
He added: ‘What we need is a city-wide parking strategy.
‘If there are to be resident parking zones, then they should be across the city.’
Tory traffic boss, Councillor Jim Fleming, said: ‘I do think a city-wide strategy has been missing.
‘Portsmouth does have unique problems, but we also have problems shared with other local authorities.’
He added: ‘The displacement of vehicles is a huge problem, and it’s the residents who suffer.’
Paulsgrove resident Pat Russell, chair of Lime Grove community forum, said: ‘For 15 years, we have been trying to get help with parking in the area, and nothing happens.
‘It’s mainly commercial vehicles blocking up the areas, especially residential roads.
‘No-one seems to want to take it up and come up with a solution.’
Lib Dem councillor Lee Hunt warned a city-wide parking policy could cost ‘millions and millions’.
Council traffic director Alan Cufley said: ‘Officers will have to price and cost what recommendations the review agree upon.
‘So it’s futile for me to come up with any figures in terms of how we go forward.’
Cllr Hunt questioned why the council has agreed to a new parking zone in Cosham and plans to increases in seafront parking charges while a review is under way.
Cllr Fleming – who represents Cosham – said: ‘It’s been made clear – that Cosham parking zone was in the pipeline from 2012.
‘It would be grossly unfair to pull the rug from under their feet when they expected it back in 2012.’
The review is expected to take up to two years.
The next traffic panel meeting is on Thursday, December 8.