PARKING restrictions along a busy Southsea road could be extended.
Regulated times for one waiting bay in Albert Road have been increased as a way to 'assess' the impact on surrounding businesses.
Motorists using the layby outside The Cat Clinic and the Haldi restaurant can now park for two hours between 8am and 9pm - rather than 6pm.
Portsmouth council's transport boss, Councillor Lynne Stagg, approved the change at a meeting this week.
Kevin McKee, the council's parking manager, said: 'The current time allows two hours parking up to 6pm, which actually means someone can park from 4pm until 8am the next day.
'This affects all those businesses as many of them are still operating until or after 6pm.'
Councillor Simon Bosher added: 'Effectively it's a loophole to get out of buying a permit.
'But what's to stop other businesses that have issues looking to do the same thing if the parking restrictions don't suit the model of their particular business? You're potentially opening up a can of worms.'
Mr McKee explained other areas of the road could be subject to change in the future. He said: 'Making the change now will allow us to assess the impact of that change on the MD zone.
'We know that in MD there are 1,500 permit holders and 1,700 spaces and so there needs to be some balance for businesses.'
The MD zone surrounds Albert Road and stretches from Nelson Road and The Thicket in the west, to Lawrence Road in the east and from Campbell Road down to Worthing Road.