Hundreds moreÂ Portsmouth car owners may have to pay for street permits to park
HUNDREDS of Portsmouth residents could have to pay for parking outside their homes if controversial permit zones are created.
At a traffic and transport meeting on Tuesday the chairmanÂ will decide whether to move forward with the reinstating of two former residents' parking zones, along with revising others.
Former zones MB and MC in Southsea will be at the fore of the meeting, with the Lib Dems claiming their installation would fulfil their manifesto pledge.
Cllr Ben Dowling is set to chair the meeting. He said: '˜We carried out a survey last summer and in the autumn about parking zones in the city. It was part of a general survey on traffic and transportation but we focused on parking zones because we knew it was an issue.
'˜As the administration we have to make sure we always listen to what the people want. During the election in May we made clear we believed certain zones were taken away undemocratically, specifically MB and MC.
'˜We said we would bring back those zones.'
Any zones that had been consulted on during the last five years, including MB and MC, are eligible for change under a traffic regulation order (TRO). The order would take 21 days and councillors would then take a final vote at a public meeting before anything could go ahead.
Cllr Dowling added: '˜I think there is clear evidence that residents overwhelmingly support bringing back MB and MC and the TRO process will demonstrate that. We think the figures from our survey display that the zones are needed and they should not have been removed before.'
The meeting comes after the first attempt to discuss the zones was stalled when it was revealed the council's transport boss, Cllr Lynne Stagg, lived in one of the zones in the report and therefore had an interest.
Tory councillors were not impressed by this oversight or the content of the report.
Cllr Luke Stubbs said: '˜The whole thing is an absolute shambles.
'˜The proposals have all changed again since the last meeting. They have chopped out a bit of Eastney. At a neighbourhood forum last week they asked around 100 people if they wanted permits and about four of them said yes.
'˜When MB was in place before there used to be 500 spaces left empty all the time. There were 1,300 spaces available there but only 800 permits issued. You had a case where the area looked like it belonged in the 1970s and then outside of it the roads were rammed with parked cars.
'˜It is extremely naive to think you can make decisions street by street and not look at the overall picture.'
Former head of transport, Cllr Simon Bosher, added: '˜They are basing their opinion on a Lib Dem survey, the results of which they are keeping secret. Since then they have put out a leaflet blaming others for their incompetence.
'˜It beggars belief that the cabinet member, Cllr Lynne Stagg, was trying to push forward a scheme that would cause displacement misery for many residents in Copnor.'
Other zones that have not already undergone a consultation in the past five years will be subject to one before a TRO can be imposed. Tuesday's meeting will determine which zones will be consulted on and which can go straight to the TRO process.