New spaces spark debate over Southsea seafront parking

PLAN Parking in Clarence Parade, Southsea. The new spaces are to the right of the picture.
PLAN Parking in Clarence Parade, Southsea. The new spaces are to the right of the picture.
M27. Picture: Malcolm Wells

One lane closed on M27 after crash

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new parking spaces will be a danger to drivers and cyclists, according to residents.

In an attempt to ease parking congestion in Clarence Parade, Southsea, the city council has created an extra rank of ‘echelon’ parking spaces on the north side of the road.

In line with new government rules, the sloped spaces now face away from oncoming traffic – in the hope that cars will stop and reverse into them. But residents say it is dangerous.

Lee Armstrong, whose house overlooks the new spaces, said it had already caused at least one accident.

The 27-year-old said: ‘The new lines pose a problem for drivers who aren’t good at reversing, but also allow people travelling on the opposite side to drive straight in. This will surely cause more accidents when people come to reverse out of them.’

Clarissa Brown, 62, also from Clarence Parade, added: ‘It seems bizarre. Because drivers have to stop to reverse it can lead to some heated exchanges if people aren’t confident at parking. I’ve heard them shouting from my window.’

But the AA’s head of public affairs, Paul Watters, said he supports the decision.

‘The council has got this one right,’ he said. ‘The problem with the way they are everywhere else, is that [when leaving] you have to reverse backwards into oncoming traffic, which can easily cause an accident if someone isn’t paying attention.

‘This way you can just check your wing mirror and drive straight out.’

Angela Gill, the council’s transport planning manager, said the new system was in line with the Department for Transport’s Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002.

She said: ‘The spaces encourage drivers to reverse into them when parking and then drive out safely with the flow of traffic. We’ve worked with residents to increase the amount of parking for them and have their support.’

Transport chief Cllr Jason Fazackarley said if the new system proved not to work it could be changed.

‘Nothing is set in stone,’ he said.