Future of parking is up to you

Residents Steve Knight (left), and Bill Cruden who want residential parking brought into Talbot Road South after the council gave residential parking to home owners in Talbot Road North at the junction with Jessie Road in Fratton.  Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (122674-3)
Residents Steve Knight (left), and Bill Cruden who want residential parking brought into Talbot Road South after the council gave residential parking to home owners in Talbot Road North at the junction with Jessie Road in Fratton. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (122674-3)
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When Steve Knight comes home from visiting his family, most afternoons he finds there is nowhere to park.

He often has to leave his car a few streets away and walk back.

Yet if the 62-year-old lived just a few metres up from where he lives in Talbot Road, Southsea, he would have far more chance of finding a parking space.

The reason for the bizarre situation is the introduction of a residents’ parking zone in the other half of the road.

The zone begins at the junction of Jessie Road and covers the north end of Talbot Road up to Goldsmith Avenue – but it has irritated Mr Knight and scores of other residents living in the south end down to Fawcett Road.

It means people who don’t qualify for a permit to park under the scheme, which was introduced in November, take advantage and leave their cars on Mr Knight’s stretch of the road, making the existing situation worse.

Plus people using Fratton train station to get into the city and parents picking up their children from nearby schools during term time leave their cars there.

Steve doesn’t have the option of parking his car in the residents’ zone – you can only park there for two hours.

You then have to go away for four hours before returning.

Portsmouth City Council only rolled out the parking zone in the north of Talbot Road because the majority of residents living there who participated in a survey favoured it – whereas people in the south didn’t.

Under the current scheme residents’ parking is only introduced in an area if there is a majority in favour.

Now as the council prepares to completely overhaul its residents’ parking scheme –which is under public consultation until next month – Mr Knight and others want assurance they will get what they want.

He said: ‘We need residents’ parking down here – especially because the schools are going to be back soon. It’s going to be a nightmare to park.

‘By 4.30pm most afternoons there isn’t anywhere to park.

‘Everyone comes into our road. It’s mayhem.’

He says when his daughter Shellie Knight, 39, visits she has to park in Bramble Road, which doesn’t have a parking scheme, and walk from there.

‘The problem just ends up snowballing because then people living in that road end up without a parking space,’ he said.

‘I really hope the council sees the problems we face and give us resident parking.’

Under the current scheme residents can apply for a free permit for one car. A second permit costs £53.50 for a year and additional ones cost £107.50.

Visitors can obtain ‘scratchcards’ which entitle them to a space for a period of 12 hours, 24 hours, or four or seven consecutive days. Prices start at 95p.

Residents can’t get a permit if their car isn’t registered to the house they live.

People with a company car can only get a permit if their firm sends a letter to the council explaining it is their only mode of transport.

In a bid to highlight the problem Talbot Road neighbours have put ‘campaign for residents’ parking’ posters in their windows.

Residents organised a petition and collected 60 signatures from people who feel they would benefit from a residents’ parking zone.

Sian Sawyer, 37, lives with her son Jayden, one, within the Talbot Road zone.

She said: ‘It’s a brilliant scheme and I can understand why people on the other side would want resident parking. I’ve really benefited from it.

‘Because of the restrictions there’s more spaces and you get a space every time.

‘It used to be a nightmare to park. You would have to leave your car half a mile down the road and then walk home. Late at night it wasn’t a very nice thing to do.’

Councillor Jason Fazackarley, who is charge of roads and transport at the council, said changes need to be made.

‘The scheme is far from perfect and needs an overhaul,’ he said.

‘As we increase the number of parking schemes so do the number of complaints from people.

‘The results of this consultation will determine what we do next. It’s an open book. There’s no pre-made agenda.

‘The main issues that have arisen from the consultation so far are students wanting to get parking permits even if their cars are not registered to where they live.

‘Residents who don’t own a car say they should be entitled to free visitor scratchcards.

‘We recognise that parking in Portsmouth is an emotive issue and we want to do all we can to improve what’s in place for the benefit of residents.’

Have your say

Everyone in Portsmouth is being asked to give their views on the future of parking in the city.

People will be able to say if they think the schemes need improving, expanding to cover the whole city, or even scrapping altogether.

The consultation ends on September 28.

The council does not make money from residents’ parking schemes.

The system costs around £120,000 a year, with the money going on set-up costs, signs, road markings, administration, free permit production, maintenance and enforcement, as well as the initial survey process.

Following the consultation, members of the council’s traffic and transport committee will discuss what changes need to be made.

To submit your views fill in an online form at surveymonkey.com/s/pccresidentsparking

Alternatively call (023) 9283 4355 or email transportplan@portsmouthcc.gov.uk.