PARKING in a congested residential area has been branded a ‘farce’ because of problems caused by a controversial traffic scheme.
In Southsea, streets such as Bramble Road have no parking restrictions and are completely full during the day.
Yet it is virtually empty in nearby Stansted Road, where you can park for only two hours at a time, unless you have a permit.
The problem is caused by streets like Stansted Road being part of Portsmouth City Council’s MB Orchard Road resident parking zone.
If residents do not qualify for a permit – such as if their car is not registered to their address or they drive a work vehicle – they end up parking them elsewhere.
And it’s often the case that commuters’ cars, work vehicles and caravans are left for days in areas where they will not be fined.
Steve Shoesmith, 45, of Bramble Road, has found living in a road with no restrictions a nightmare because the only way to find a space after work is to park illegally in a permit zone.
It’s resulted in him clocking up four parking tickets in a week costing £25 each.
‘I am really angry about this,’ he said. ‘I have to park in Stansted Road because I have no other choice. You should see how many empty spaces there are over there.
‘I’ve been told I can’t get a parking permit for Stansted Road because I don’t live there, yet I can see it from the front window of my house.
‘Take 10 steps away from there and you’re in my road.
‘I want something done, it’s ridiculous.’
Meanwhile, Portsmouth City Council is trying to counteract problems with so called ‘displacement parking’ by extending the scheme south down to Albert Road.
While Mr Shoesmith says being part of a zone would save him potentially hundreds of pounds a year in fines, others feel it will just exacerbate parking problems.
Barbara Jones, of Grenville Road, said: ‘The council seems to be deliberately setting out to annoy surrounding areas by making the zones so big that the displacement of cars is so great, which annoys people from miles around.
‘It’s a cancer that is spreading outwards.’
Councillor Luke Stubbs, deputy Conservative group leader, said: ‘This zone should never have been created in the first place, but now that it has, the cabinet’s reaction has been to have more and more zones in the hope of managing the displacement.
‘They’re now planning another five just to manage the chaos caused by this one.
‘It’s a farce.’
Residents are being consulted about the changes until the end of this month and the council’s cabinet will then meet to discuss the results.
As previously reported, the council agreed last year to put a stop to more resident parking zones because it was losing too much money, but it was agreed that existing schemes in Southsea and Stamshaw needed improving.
Residents in Cosham have been assured they will still get one in the future.
Cllr Jason Fazackarley, cabinet member for traffic and transport, said: ‘The displacement caused by the introduction of the MB zone has caused representations to come forward from residents outside the zone’s original boundaries.
‘If it all goes to plan, the intention is to have the scheme in place by the end of February.’