A PORTSMOUTH man has accused the council of cashing in on a popular event after more than £1,000 of parking fines were handed out on Bank Holiday Monday – but the authority said enforcement was needed to keep people safe.
Baffins resident, Steve Coish, was disappointed to see what he described as a ‘team’ of traffic wardens that were ‘targeting’ cars parked up near St Mary’s Church in Fratton for the annual May Fayre on Monday, May 6.
The 58-year-old was concerned that this would prevent people returning to the event next year. ‘I was not ticketed as I was well aware of the parking problems and walked to the church,’ he said.
‘For me the issue is that this event is well known and always very well attended, indeed it was highlighted in The News‘ Friday edition as one of the “to do” things of the weekend.
‘The council was well aware of this and decided to target and penalise their own citizens for maximum financial gain.
‘The questions are how many tickets were given out, how much was raised and how many people will be dissuaded from attending in the future.’
A total of 15 parking notices were distributed around the area on the day. If the maximum penalty of £70 is paid for each, it amounts to £1,050.
But the council explained that only two wardens were operating in Fratton on the day – no more than usual.
Kevin McKee, parking manager at Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘The fayre is popular each year and has caused parking issues in the past. We want people to enjoy the event without causing issues for other road users.
‘Our enforcement officers attended and found vehicles parking on pavements, on double yellow lines and parking for longer than permitted in residents permit areas. Effectively managing parking is important to ensure everyone is safe and enjoys the event.’
If the penalty notices are paid within 14 days they are reduced to £35.
Notices are given for: parking on double yellow lines, not displaying a valid pay and display ticket, parking alongside a dropped kerb (vehicles displaying disabled badges are not exempt) and parking more than 50cm from the kerb.