Portsmouth's Labour leader calls for investigation into student parking problem

THE leader of Labour in Portsmouth has called for an investigation into claims students are abusing parking rules '“ and clashing with residents who challenge them.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 13th December 2016, 6:01 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 1:53 pm
The block of student housing planned for Greetham Street
The block of student housing planned for Greetham Street

Parts of Portsea stipulate visitors without a parking permit can only stay for an hour before having to leave.

But families at the latest Portsea Action Group meeting said students are leaving their cars longer than they should while attending lectures, adding to the demand for parking spaces.

And Cllr Stephen Morgan warns there is a ‘real problem’ with the number of students living in houses of multiple occupation being given permits.

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Cllr Stephen Morgan

It comes as concerns grow over the level of student development in the city centre, as several high-rise towers are planned that will accommodate 3,300 beds.

University chiefs insist they discourage students from having cars.

Cllr Morgan said: ‘These everyday concerns are putting pressure on local people and parking in one of the city’s most densely-populated communities.

‘We demand action. As the University of Portsmouth is continuing to build in Portsea, residents and I want to see the university as a better local neighbour.

Cllr Stephen Morgan

‘The university is even charging residents to use its own car park – they were once free during the evenings. As one resident fed back to me, the university should be issued with an Asbo.’

He added: ‘Disappointingly there were stories of students becoming abusive when challenged by local people.’

Bernie Topham, university chief operating officer, said: ‘The university is aware that Portsmouth is a densely-populated city and all students are discouraged from bringing a car to university for this reason.

‘Instead, we encourage them to use local transport, including the free university bus, to walk and to use bicycles, and we make this point with students before they arrive at Portsmouth.’

Ms Topham added: ‘We cannot prevent students who are living in the private sector from bringing a car. However, we actively discourage it, owing to limited parking and the requirement of residential permits in many areas.’