Getting rid of company vans isn’t as simple as it sounds

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If there’s one subject guaranteed to get people hot under the collar in Portsmouth, it’s parking. Specifically, parking in the street – or lack of it.

In a densely-populated city with rows and rows of terraced houses, the rise in car ownership has created a massive problem.

With two or three-car households not that unusual, everybody has to park somewhere. But it’s the old quart into a pint pot scenario. There simply aren’t enough spaces to allow everybody to park outside their own homes.

So each night people coming home from work end up driving up and down the streets searching for that elusive parking space. Often they end up quite a walk from their front door.

Some have tried to paint employees parking their vans in residential areas at night as villains of the piece.

Today we report how Portsmouth Tory council leader Donna Jones has written to firms urging them to get staff to park up in their depots instead of taking vehicles home.

It all sounds great in principle. Get rid of all the vans clogging up the streets and cars would have much more room.

But start to look at it in more detail and it’s far from a straightforward solution.

What about all those self-employed tradespeople who use their work vehicle as a family runaround as well? They can’t just leave it at work overnight.

Then there are those who may go to their first job in the morning straight from home rather than going to a base first.

And what about those who only use their company vehicle during the day? Yes, in theory they could park it at their offices or depot, but then how would they get home?

If you live within an easy walk of where you work, then it’s quite possible.

But what if, like many people, you work miles away?

Let’s be honest. If you did, you’re not going to be impressed at being expected to get home by other means every night.