COMMENT: We urge the council to reconsider warden edict

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Here’s a very simple question. When do you think there is most pressure on parking in the Fratton area of Portsmouth – and therefore the most likelihood of people wrongly leaving their cars in resident parking zones?

The answer, of course, is on match days at Fratton Park.

When Pompey play at home, thousands of fans drive to the stadium and need to find a parking space nearby. For some, the search as kick-off draws near may mean them parking in the wrong area and depriving residents of their rightful spaces.

So you’d think such times would be a high priority for traffic wardens to patrol these areas to ensure the regulations are not abused.

Yet today we reveal how the opposite is true. Civil enforcement officers have been told by their council bosses not to check vehicles in resident parking zones near Fratton Park on match days because of a fear of violence from football fans. As a result, it’s effectively a free-for-all with no threat of sanction.

There are two concerning elements to this policy.

Firstly, it rather unfairly tars all supporters with the same brush. We believe the vast majority of Pompey supporters are law-abiding citizens who would not dream of assaulting a public official.

Then there are the residents. When they signed up to pay for permits in the new GA zone in Fratton, many listed match day parking as their primary reason for wanting a residents’ parking scheme.

So how must they feel to see it blatantly ignored because nobody is policing the area?

We urge the council to reconsider and, at the very least, to make sure residents are aware that wardens will not be patrolling on match days.

People really shouldn’t be finding out only because The News writes a story about the issue.