BUSINESSES have welcomed the introduction of free parking in Cosham.
Motorists visiting can now park for an hour and not pay anything in 28 spaces in High Street and Wayte Street.
Portsmouth City Council has brought in the move following the success of a temporary scheme where motorists got an hour of free parking during recent improvement works.
As previously reported, this included the redevelopment of Northern Road Bridge, which is almost complete, and the £200,000 improvement works done on Cosham High Street.
Tony Broome, owner of Shoefix, in High Street, said: ‘If you have got some free parking, it can only be a plus for the high street.
‘It allows people to get in and do their shopping, and then get out again so more people can come in. It’s great for everyone.
‘The council could have just put some free spaces right down at the end of the High Street but instead they’ve been put in a good location, so that’s really good.’
Mr Broome said that free parking existed when he set up his business 20 years ago, but there were no restrictions so traders ended up hogging them all day.
Michael Jenkins, owner of Franks Jewellers, said: ‘It’s a great idea and it will help keep the locals in.
‘This is a very local shopping area and it always will be.
‘It’s a positive start to the new year and Cosham is looking nice and will look even nicer when the new seats come in.’
Councillor Jason Fazackarley, the council’s cabinet member for traffic and transport, said: ‘The one-hour free parking was introduced to support Cosham businesses while work in the area may have been disrupting their customers.
‘It proved so popular we decided to include a number of spaces allowing one hour’s free parking in Cosham’s new road layout.
‘We’ve reintroduced the facility to park on the High Street for free and feedback we’ve had from residents and businesses has been extremely supportive of this.’
The free spaces on the High Street are outside The First Post and opposite NatWest Bank.