Is it time to ban vans being parked on Portsmouth’s residential roads?

A picture taken by Ivelina Antonova of problems parking in Chichester Road, North End, Portsmouth
A picture taken by Ivelina Antonova of problems parking in Chichester Road, North End, Portsmouth
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CALLS are being made on Portsmouth City Council to crack down on work vans being allowed to park in residential streets to alleviate congestion.

Residents have added their protests after Ivelina Antonova sent in a picture of the parked cars in her road.

She said: ‘People from Chichester Road and all roads in the area can’t find car parking space after 6pm.

‘Many of us are working till late at night and spend one hour to find parking space.

‘I work more then 12 hours, until 9.30pm, and it is a nightmare to find a space. I’ve tried many times to raise this with the council but don’t get a response.’

And the problem is not isolated to North End.

Barbara Corstorphin, of Paddington Road, Copnor, said: ‘It is just awful. I sing with a choir and when I return home at 10.30pm I have to pull up outside my house, call my husband, who jumps in and we drive round trying to find a space.

‘I don’t want to walk the streets on my own at night.

‘We usually have to park in Kirby or Mayfield Road, which is about half a mile away, and walk back.

‘As a very, very last resort, and if the weather is bad, we will even park on double yellows – which you will see across this area. It’s not out of laziness but purely because there are no other spaces.’

Mrs Corstorphin believes one of the biggest problems is vans, lorries and trucks being parked outside homes, rather than dedicated car parks.

Valerie Fletcher, 66, of Crofton Road, North End, said: ‘The vans are a big problem. Utility companies used to have lock-ups where vans were left overnight.’

Eastney is also a problem. Clare Slater lives in Prince Albert Road but her front door is in Languard Road.

She said: ‘I’m often working until late and have had to resort to parking on double yellows. I wish white vans and trucks wouldn’t park in residential areas. There’s so many of them and they take up so much room.’

But Cllr Ken Ellcome, Portsmouth City Council’s cabinet member for traffic and transport, said it was not possible to just ban work vans, as there was no legislation to back up such a move.

He said that he was ‘unaware’ of problems relating specifically to work vans, and encouraged people with this problem to get in touch with the council.

He said: ‘There’s no specific legislation that allows us to address that, although we try to discourage the larger vans. But the problem is where do they go instead?’

Additional reporting by Georgina Gambetta

Comments posted on our Facebook page included:

I’m on Lynn Road and if you get here after 5pm then there are no spaces. I do feel however, if people parked with more consideration with a small gap either end of their car then we could fit many more cars in, I saw one car last night that had a good 3ft either end!

Drew Goodman

Taking a while to find a space is quite annoying but eventually I find one. What I really don’t like is vehicles (especially commercial vans) parking over corners of roads, makes it even harder to drive around safely. I personally rather just cycle everywhere as I usually get there quicker anyway but I think it can be helped with better value public transport stopping the reliance on cars. (Could go on about extra housing/flats etc but then it would carry on...)

Ryan Eves

Maybe the city council should paint marked bays in the roads with the £1.2m surplus they have left over from parking tickets, then people won’t park leaving massive gaps. Fewer gaps more spaces!

Antony Bendon

I understand the struggle of the school run for mums, the majority do need a car, but here’s a thought – how many people who live in Portsmouth work in Portsmouth? It’s not that big a city... buy a bike, get fit, and leave the car at home if you are able-bodied then you don’t have to worry about parking.

I drive a van due to the nature of my work and you would all moan if we turned up late to your house to do a job if our excuse was ‘sorry love had to drive to the yard to get my van first’.

Karl Hiscutt

The roads should have parking bay spaces marked out on them to ensure spaces are used effectively to save the frustration of seeing a few spaces big enough for half or 3/4 of a car so amounting to many more available spaces! I don’t think permit parking works – it’s a money making scheme for the council but doesn’t help residents!

Leanne Hoskin