Portsmouth Ukip campaign underway to get free parking introduced in Cosham High Street
A COMMUNITY campaign has been launched to get free car parking in Cosham in time for the Christmas shopping season.
City Ukip councillor Stuart Potter, who is leading the initiative, wants the council to waive fees between 3pm and 6pm along High Street, and in council car parks, including the one behind the Post Office.
Cllr Potter said he came up with the plan after a business spoke up at a council traffic meeting about the way parking charges affect visitor numbers.
He said: ‘I know some of the traders have issues with on-street parking and it’s affecting their business. Around other areas of the city, there is free parking between 3pm and 6pm.
‘It’s an opportunity to increase footfall for the shops and help people who are just nipping in to get things they need.
‘I’d really like to see this happen in time for Christmas.
‘It’s a time when people spend more money so this would be beneficial for this area of the city.’
High Street traders say it’s just the lift they need.
Jamie Brennan, co-owner of Cosham Independent Barbers, said: ‘This is definitely something we would welcome. I have been trying to get at least an hour of free parking sorted for years.
‘I spoke to Donna Jones (the council leader) ages ago because the council put the price of parking up to £1.10 an hour after the Northern Road bridge works, and she got it down to 90p.
‘But I still think it’s too much for Cosham – it’s the kind of parking charge you would find near Commercial Road. It would be great for people to know they can park their car and pop to the shops without having to worry about paying to park.
‘Hopefully this happens so we can try and bring more people back to Cosham.’
Tony Broome, owner of Shoefix, said: ‘One of people’s pet hates is paying to park, and any area that could offer free parking, even if limited, would benefit I’m sure.
‘People would then be free to shop at their leisure. I look forward to it.’
Mr Broome said supporters should also consider lobbying for free parking between miday and 3pm to take advantage of lunchtime visitors before the school run.