Students in Portsmouth halls of residence could be denied parking permits in bid to free up more space on city roads
UNIVERSITY students could no longer be eligible for parking permits in Portsmouth as part of a controversial crackdown.
Portsmouth council will be working with the University of Portsmouth to potentially change parking rules in a bid to reduce car ownership in the city.
If approved those living in both university-owned and private student halls that are located within residents' parking zones (RPZs) will not be able to apply for permits anymore.
The new ruling would complement existing halls contracts that stipulate students must not bring their cars with them.
Students will be consulted on the idea in February before any change is made.
Pam Turton, the council's assistant director for transport, said: 'We fully support the university's policy on discouraging students from bringing cars into the city. We work closely with the university on promoting sustainable alternatives to the car, such as the new dedicated Park and Ride route.
'We have planned the consultation in order to give students as much notice as possible, so any new students coming to Portsmouth are fully aware of our parking permit rules.'
A University of Portsmouth spokesperson added: 'The university has agreed with Portsmouth City Council to participate fully in policies aimed at alleviating traffic and parking congestion in the city.
'Students accepting a place in any of our halls of residence must agree not to bring a car to Portsmouth and to use local transport links. We are fully supportive of the proposed change.'
The plans came following queries raised at a traffic scrutiny panel last year that revealed individual rooms within student halls were regarded as a separate residence, meaning each student could apply for a permit.
Proposals to change this were then raised at this week's panel.
Speaking at the meeting Councillor Simon Bosher said: 'The time has come for us to say we need to do something because the residents are the ones who pay council tax, not the students.
'As a student I could say "I won't bring a car" and then park it four streets away. It seems to me the halls contract isn't worth the paper it's written on.
'I don't think anyone here is blaming the students. If they can bring their car easily then of course they're going to.'
In her deputation Cllr Claire Udy commented that the new MC and MB zones had already affected the number of student cars in the area. 'I live between two sets of students and since the new parking zones have been put in place the reduction of student cars is already clear,' she said.
The proposed change would only affect new applications, existing permit holders would not be affected and it would not prevent disabled students from obtaining and using blue badges.
It would not apply to students not living in halls.