Night parking charges return to city streets

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CAR PARKING charges are to be introduced on 14 Portsmouth roads to raise cash and reduce traffic problems.

The charges will be for overnight parking, the first time drivers will have had to pay to park after 6pm since summer 2008.

It will cost £2 to park on Stanhope Road’s west side, Station Street, Alec Rose Lane, Charles Dickens Street, St Michael’s Road, St Paul’s Road, Waltham Street, St Vincent Street, Melbourne Place, Hampshire Terrace, St George’s Road’s south west side, and St George’s Square, all roads between Gunwharf Quays and Guildhall Walk, between 6pm and 6am.

The same charge will be made for parking on Edinburgh Road, central Portsmouth, from 6pm to 6am Monday to Saturday morning, and on Exchange Road from 5pm to 6am, Monday to Sunday.

All the roads already charge in the daytime.

Portsmouth City Council’s leader for transport, Cllr Jason Fazackarley, said: ‘It’s to help reduce congestion where there are outlets for the night-time economy. These are commercial streets, so few residents will lose their ability to park.’

In a report to Cllr Fazackarley, the council’s head of transport, Simon Moon, says the measure will make £35,000 this year.

Cllr Fazackarley said: ‘It’s not about making money, but the cash will come into council coffers. It will help avoid cuts elsewhere.’

Overnight parking was charged for in Portsmouth until 2008, when the council’s then leader for transport, Cllr Lynne Stagg, made it free.

The decision to reintroduce charges was criticised by Tory transport spokesman Cllr Lee Hunt, who said: ‘Wiping out the charge was one of the best things the Lib Dem administration has done. ‘All councils have to raise revenue, but it’s a shame they’re doing it this way. It’s worrying because it could be the start of charging for the whole city.’

But Cllr Fazackarley said: ‘There are no plans to charge anywhere else. None has been discussed, or hinted at. We don’t want to do that.’