HOLIDAYMAKERS say their trip to Portsmouth was ‘spoiled’ after their motorhome was refused entry to the city’s park and ride.
After travelling from South Wales, Norman and Ann Oxley had hoped to leave their Peugeot Talisman at the Tipner Lane site to catch a bus toward Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.
But upon arrival on Thursday morning, they were turned away, forced to navigate the city and find alternative parking because of a new 2.1m height restriction.
While Portsmouth City Council says the policy was introduced in 2017 to encourage ‘appropriate’ use of the service, the couple, both 78, claim it put a ‘dampener’ on their getaway.
Mr Oxley said: ‘We visited Portsmouth and used the park and ride with our motorhome in August – it was a really fantastic service.
‘But this time – instead of unlocking the overhead barrier for us – staff said they couldn’t let vehicles as tall as ours in, because of a problem with travellers.
‘We loved the service before because it was so easy, but this put a dampener on things and spoiled the day really.’
Mr and Mrs Oxley eventually found a car park in Southsea, but they had to make their own way around the city.
The change in park and ride policy, Mr Oxley said, could inconvenience many more tourists like him and his wife.
He said: ‘From the motorway, there is no way of knowing your caravan will be turned away.
‘The park and ride should be open to everybody, but it seems in banning a select few, lots of genuine tourists are going to be affected.’
Portsmouth City Council’s cabinet member for traffic and transportation, Cllr Simon Bosher, said: ‘We welcome all visitors to Portsmouth so they can enjoy the huge variety of attractions that the city has to offer.
‘The park and ride car park carries a height restriction to ensure the maximum number of spaces are available to visitors, and that these aren’t taken up by large scale vehicles which occupy more than one space.’