New Portsmouth parking zone approved as situation is likened to 'putting a loaded gun to peoples' heads'

ANOTHER parking zone will be implemented in the city following a heated debate where one politician likened to scheme to 'putting a loaded gun to peoples' heads.'

By Fiona Callingham
Thursday, 27th February 2020, 7:13 pm
Updated Friday, 28th February 2020, 6:01 pm

More than 20 members of the public attended a traffic and transportation meeting to hear the fate of the proposed MF parking zone north of Canoe Lake in Southsea.

Traffic boss Councillor Lynne Stagg ultimately approved the zone, which is bordered by St Ronan's Road, Festing Road, Albert Road and St Helen's Parade, but was met with objections.

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The MF parking zone has been introduced in Portsmouth

Speaking at the meeting Bembridge Crescent resident Darren Frost said: 'It just to me feels a little bit of a money grabbing scheme. There's no benefit to me. I pay my council tax, why should I have to pay more to park outside my house?

'When it comes to the evening, from 6pm to 7pm, we can park anywhere in that time. The issue comes between 7pm and 10pm because of the movement of the cars.'

His neighbour, Stephen Gorys, also had concerns about the consultation process.

A survey of the area conducted last year found 54 per cent in favour of a zone, 41 per cent against and five per cent not indicating either way. However, only 313 out of 1,995 responded.

Mr Gorys said: 'If the island decides it's the right thing to do then that's democratic, that's fine.'

Eastney and Craneswater representative Cllr Luke Stubbs agreed. He: 'I think the whole process is a debacle.

'It's putting a loaded gun to peoples' heads. I think we have no choice but to go ahead with this. My heart goes out to people in this room and other people living in the Craneswater area.

'They are the people struggling to park in the streets because of chronic displacement.'

But Cllr Stagg explained the council did not have enough officers to roll out a city-wide scheme. She said: 'If we have another 39 zones to be done we would need around 20 additional officers in five months, that is what it takes.

'We advertised for additional officers. But you can't just parachute people in. They need to be qualified. We can't find them.

'If we could we would but they're just not out there. It would be brilliant to do it but it can't be done.'

The MF zone will allow only residents with permits to park in the road between 11am and midday, and 6pm and 7pm.