Too many cars in the city, that is the reason for the cost to businesses, as revealed in the article ‘Traffic is costing businesses £12m says new report’ – Friday, December 15.
The obvious remedy is to reduce their number but so far efforts to achieve this have focussed on trying to attract people out of their cars and have failed dismally.
It has to be recognised people build their lifestyle around their car and resist any attempt to change.
An alternative approach could be to start looking at the changes in car ownership that occur almost daily.
On the one hand people give up driving mainly because of cost, infirmity or death, and on the other hand others, generally younger, purchase their first car.
If the former can be engineered to be greater in number than the latter then there will be a gradual decline in the number of cars on the roads.
One way to achieve that would be to require any resident proposing to purchase their first car to provide evidence of a dedicated off-road parking space.
Obviously such a scheme would have to be supported to avoid it being undermined but it is attractive in several ways.
Firstly it is inherent that it will reduce the number of cars in the city over a period of time.
Those cars parked 24/7 on our roads will gradually diminish in number, not only benefiting residents who presently have no other place to park but also all other road users, including cyclists.
Secondly, no current resident car owners will be adversely affected.
Thirdly, fewer parked cars will enhance the ambience of the streets. And finally, as we expect to shift to electric-powered cars then overnight battery charging can only be done with the vehicle off-road.
Brougham Road, Southsea