RESIDENTS face losing their parking zones forever – despite insisting they would pay to keep them.
Southsea’s MB and MC zones – which covered around 3,000 homes south of Fratton railway line – were suspended last year following concerns with ‘displacement’ parking. The fear was that cars belonging to residents of the two zones were being left in neighbouring areas.
Cllr Ellcome made a pledge he would bring the zones back if the majority of people wanted them and were willing to pay. He has gone back on his word and changed the goalposts.Lib Dem central Southsea councillor Lee Hunt
MB and MC-zone residents have since been asked by the council if they wanted the zone back, and if so whether they would be prepared to pay £30 a year for a permit.
Seventy-five per cent of MB residents who responded to the consultation said they would pay – and 69 per cent in MC said the same.
But the council’s director of transport Alan Cufley has recommended the MB and MC zones should not be brought back as people who wouldn’t qualify for a permit would start leaving their cars in neighbouring areas again.
And the option of part-time restrictions – to stop commuters parking in MB and MC – has been shot down in a report as students would seek ‘long-term parking’ options elsewhere.
Lib Dem central Southsea ward councillor Lee Hunt is furious. He said: ‘The council has asked people and the people have overwhelmingly said yes, they want their zone.
‘These people are right by the railway station and off Albert Road so they are affected by commuters travelling to London. This is the most densely populated part of Portsmouth, which is the most densely populated city in Western Europe.
‘Cllr Ellcome made a pledge he would bring the zones back if the majority of people wanted them and were willing to pay.
‘He has gone back on his word and changed the goalposts. I have had scores of complaints from residents who have not been asked about this.
The council is also seeking to shrink the size of the adjacent LB zone to alleviate pressure on Havelock Road, Lorne Road, Livingstone Road, Outram Road, Stansted Road, Britannia Road and Britannia Road North.
A decision will be taken over the future of the zones by Tory traffic boss Ken Ellcome at a meeting on Thursday. It is in Portsmouth Guildhall in the executive meeting room on the third floor from 4pm.
Cllr Ellcome was yesterday unavailable for comment.