Parking permits may be scrapped at end of new Portsmouth-wide review

CHANGE AHEAD Cllr Jason Fazackarley
CHANGE AHEAD Cllr Jason Fazackarley
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RESIDENTS’ parking schemes could be scrapped as a result of a city-wide review by Portsmouth City Council.

A fifth of the city is now covered by parking permit areas, but the council admits all options are open as it plans to examine whether they work properly.

The most likely outcomes of the review, which starts this week, will be changes to the way in which the controversial schemes operate.

But the council’s leader for traffic and transport, Cllr Jason Fazackarley, admitted they could be stopped altogether.

He said: ‘We’re looking at all options here.

‘We want to make sure the schemes work the way they should, and if they aren’t, we could decide to stop them altogether, removing areas already under the rules.’

He said a cap on the total number of new schemes in the city was another possibility.

He said: ‘It’s a review. We live in a city with terrible parking problems, and residents’ parking is one way we felt we could help improve matters.

‘But if they don’t work, we’ll stop them, and if they are having knock-on effects for other areas, we could decide on a city-wide cap.’

Residents’ parking schemes see parking restricted to people who live within a particular road or area of the city.

In some cases the areas are open to everyone after a certain time in the evening or for a short period of time during the day.

Car-owning residents are given a free parking permit, and can buy a second, and in some cases a third.

They are only put in place if a majority of those who vote say they want an initiative.

The first scheme was in Old Portsmouth, and began in 1999, after residents complained they couldn’t park near their houses because of people parking on their way to take ferries, or to the shops.

There have been 29 put in place since then, with a further four approved but not yet operational.

But fears have been raised the schemes are now being requested not because of parking issues caused because an area is close to a railway or bus station, shopping centre or football stadium, but because traffic is pushed from existing schemes into neighbouring areas.

Cllr Fazackarley said: ‘It’s one of the reasons for the review, to see if they are still appropriate, and whether the numbers can just keep increasing.’

Pam Turton, the city’s assistant head of traffic and street management, will lead the review.

She said: ‘It’s important we know how the schemes are working. Feedback has been very positive for each of them. But this is a small city, with lots of cars. And we have to make sure we have the best policies in place.’

Cllr Luke Stubbs, the city’s Tory spokesman for transport, said: ‘They do cause controversy. But it’s a deal done to ensure people can park near their homes.’