Portsmouth scrutiny panel rules suspension of LB parking zone must be looked at again

A decision remains to be made on a residents' parking zone in Portsmouth
A decision remains to be made on a residents' parking zone in Portsmouth
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CAMPAIGNERS have scored a victory after it was ruled the decision to suspend a residents’ parking zone must be looked at again.

Portsmouth Tory traffic boss Ken Ellcome last month said he would temporarily lift parking restrictions in the bulk of the LB parking zone – around 13 roads in Somers Town.

It’s still one Tory councillor’s decision and he needs to listen to the residents of LB and do the consultation he neglected to do and listen to what it says.

Lib Dem campaigner Tom Wood

He made the decision at the same time as permanently removing Southsea’s MB and MC zones so LB residents without permits wouldn’t leave cars there – otherwise known as ‘displacement parking’. MB and MC were scrapped because residents were leaving vehicles in nearby streets without restrictions.

Critics were furious that Cllr Ellcome did not consult anyone in LB over whether they wanted their parking zone kept – so a panel was yesterday ordered to consider whether he made his decision on ‘adequate information’.

The panel heard the LB zone was not listed as an area that would be affected by the decision to scrap MB and MC.

Lib Dem campaigner Tom Wood said a recent survey revealed 69 per cent of LB residents would pay for their first permit if it meant keeping their zone – but that information was also missing.

It was said director of transport Alan Cufley had recommended LB residents be consulted before any changes – but that was ignored.

And that was enough for the panel to unanimously agree Cllr Ellcome must re-consider and consult. But the suspension, due to come into force on January 18, can still happen if Cllr Ellcome does not make a new decision beforehand.

Mr Wood said: ‘We are pleased now that the panel has listened. But it’s not over.

‘It’s still one Tory councillor’s decision and he needs to listen to the residents of LB and do the consultation he neglected to do and listen to what it says.’

In the debate, Cllr Ellcome stood by his decision, saying he took into account his own ‘expertise and experience’ as the council’s former parking manager when suspending most of the LB zone.