Portsmouth congestion charge would be final nail in coffin for city centre - Clive Smith

JAMS: Would a congestion charge solve this?
JAMS: Would a congestion charge solve this?
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You’d think with the endless traffic jams, parking problems and potholes there wouldn’t be much more the poor old Portsmouth motorist would have to deal with. How wrong could you be.

Now there are plans to clobber anyone driving in Portsmouth with a congestion charge.

Apparently the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will probably look at introducing a clean air zone on Portsea Island.

Do congestion charges work? Has it worked in London? If people need to make a journey they will.

And as usual it’s the less well-off who will be most affected by this. If you can afford a nice shiny new car you’ll be laughing, but anyone in an old banger has to pay.

The new road layouts that have been introduced in the past few years haven’t helped matters.

Or maybe that’s been the plan all along. Cause traffic disruption with pointless new road management systems and use the subsequent problems as an excuse to bring in a congestion charge. It will be a decent little earner. Someone give that man a pay rise.

And I know you could get a bus about town, but with the price of buses nowadays you may as well just pay the charge.

I would much rather spend a couple of quid extra to hear my own ramblings than that of the crazies I usually find myself sitting next to on public transport.

And stop building houses! More houses, more people, more cars. There’s only so much space on an island for God’s sake. It’s not rocket science.

At the end of the day I doubt the council is really bothered about pollution. It’s just another ‘silent tax’ to shaft motorists and help swell council coffers.

There’s always talk of the ‘death of the high street’. Well, this would certainly be the final nail in the coffin.

Commercial Road will end up like a ghost town.

Even the beggars will have to move on to better places. There’ll be no money to be made from tumbleweed and pigeons.

The Boris spat: who hasn’t had a row with their partner?

Ever since Boris Johnson threw his hat into the ring to become our next prime minister hardly a day’s gone by where something hasn’t come out in the media to try to undermine him.

Like those weirdo next door neighbours of his who recorded an argument he had with his partner.

Come on, that was pathetic. Who doesn’t have an argument with the ‘missus’ once in a while?

I see he was in Portsmouth recently and of course his comments from 12 years ago in which he famously said Portsmouth was a city ‘full of drugs and obesity’ was predictably dragged up again by a few people looking to score political points.

But at the end of the day he wasn’t wrong was he?

Why we should bill foreign visitors for using the NHS

Some doctors have backed a motion to stop billing foreign visitors using the NHS because it apparently makes medical staff ‘complicit in racism’.

Is it really racist to charge foreign patients to use the NHS? It’s a ‘national health service’ not an ‘international health service’. The NHS is already on its knees so the last thing it needs is for a 77-year-old from Zimbabwe popping over for a double hip replacement.

Why should we be one of the only countries not to charge people? Doctors having opinions like this will only hasten the demise of the NHS. Here’s a novel idea. Why don’t these foreign visitors just get health insurance like we do when we go abroad?