Out-of-hours parking at schools? Think of the cost

Today we imagine some chairmen and chairwomen of governors at Portsmouth schools paying particular attention to our front page story.

Thursday, 10th November 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 3:53 pm

Doubtless some will be rubbing their hands with potential glee while poring over their schools’ accounts.

What will have caught their imagination will be Portsmouth North Tory MP Penny Mordaunt’s latest wheeze to ease this city’s night-time, on-street parking nightmare.

She is proposing that school-owned land should be turned into out-of-hours car parks for drivers sick to the back teeth of driving around and around attempting to find a space.

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She says they would be charged, takings which we think ought to go straight to the school and not be swallowed by the city council.

However, before those heads and governing bodies start doing the sums, and drawing up plans to asphalt their playing fields, let’s consider the other costs.

Would you park your vehicle overnight in an unlit, insecure, tucked-away school playground?

To make such a system work, at the very least we would want security guards on each site throughout the night and a network of working CCTV cameras.

And who would collect the fees from those visiting friends or family who live outside the city and are not paying for a season ticket such as those residents’ parking permits already in force in some areas?

And somebody would also have to pay for all the signs needed.

Yes, this might work to a limited degree in one or two areas, but this is not the panacea for this city.

However, Ms Mordaunt is right about one thing: the city council needs to think ‘bold and radical’ to even begin to solve the problem, one which needs to be resolved soon.

Because if it isn’t, it might take the death or deaths of people in a road crash or house fire to make this city come to its senses; fatalities caused because fire engines or ambulances could not get down a road in time because it was blocked by oversized vans or double-parkers.