Landlord raises fears over proposed parking charges outside Southsea pub

ANGRY Marmion Tavern landlords Gail Laurence and partner Paul Eldred are protesting at plans to axe free parking outside their pub in Marmion Road, Southsea.  Picture: Paul Jacobs (120251-1)
ANGRY Marmion Tavern landlords Gail Laurence and partner Paul Eldred are protesting at plans to axe free parking outside their pub in Marmion Road, Southsea. Picture: Paul Jacobs (120251-1)
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A SOUTHSEA landlord is worried trade will be hit if charges are put on parking spaces outside his pub.

Paul Eldred, who runs The Marmion Tavern, in Marmion Road, is concerned that customers will be put off stopping by if they have to pay to park up in three bays along the street, which are currently free of charge for two hours.

Portsmouth City Council is considering putting in parking meters which charge £1 for 20 minutes or £3 an hour.

A maximum stay of two hours would be imposed.

Mr Eldred, 46, said: ‘The knock-on effect of these new charges is it’s going to damage my passing trade.

‘Shoppers and workers park up at lunchtimes and pop in for something to eat. But they’re going to be put off if they’re faced with this unnecessary extra charge on their bill. I’m concerned. We’re living in tough times as it is.

‘It’s going to make more people use Waitrose up the road instead. Supermarkets have the power and money to own big car parks which don’t charge motorists a penny.’

The proposals, which are out for a six-week public consultation, come as the council looks to increase charges for a number of spaces at The Hard and Clarence Esplanade to £1 for 20 minutes – up from 90p for 30 minutes and £1.60 for an hour. Bays in College Street, Landport View, Lower Church Path, Station Street, Paradise Street and Slindon Street could also be affected.

Parking officials believe the change would improve the turnover of cars parked near popular areas. But traders in Marmion Road believe the hefty charges will keep people away.

Mike Pike, manager of The Sandwich Bar, said: ‘I’ve already contacted the council to appeal against this. The idea of putting extortionate fees on three parking spaces is ridiculous. People won’t be able to stop by and grab something to eat any more. It’s local businesses like us that will suffer the most. We don’t have the amenities to provide free parking for our customers.’

Michael Robinson, city parking manager, said: ‘The purpose of this is to get more people in the area, and that will improve trade. People are often left waiting for spaces because cars are parked up for hours at a time. I do not think it will be detrimental to other businesses.

‘The impact would be minimal.’

To have your say write to Margaret O’Neill, Portsmouth City Council, Civic Offices, Portsmouth, PO1 2NE.