EVERYONE in Portsmouth will be given the chance to have a say on the future of parking in the city.
A city-wide review is set to examine if controversial residents’ parking schemes are working properly.
People will be able to say if they think the schemes need improving, expanding to cover the whole city, or even scrapping altogether.
Portsmouth City Council transport bosses have admitted the current 33 zones have created new problems, such as pushing overcrowding from one road to another and forcing people without cars to still pay when they have visitors.
They said the consultation would probably result in changes to the existing schemes to make them more effective.
Cllr Jason Fazackarley, in charge of transport, said no zone had been removed because residents objected since 1999 when the first scheme was introduced.
But he said all options were on the table.
‘This survey is about trying to be as open and transparent and possible and letting people decide for themselves,’ he said.
‘As Portsmouth is a compact city with limited road space it is important that we make best use of that available and deliver what is best for the city and our residents.
‘It is our aim to improve the existing schemes in operation as well as any future schemes.’
He added that if a city-wide scheme led to problems for visitors then the city council would look at solutions – such as more council car parks.
Labour group leader and transport spokesman Cllr Jim Patey introduced the first zone when he was transport chief in 1999. He said he supported the rethink. The way we have been doing them has outlived its usefulness,’ he said.
‘If we keep introducing new schemes will we have the staff to police them?
‘I would never say get rid of them but we need to be more efficient in how they are implemented.’
Mark Battye, manager and owner of Trojan Cars, said he had initially objected to the plan for a scheme near his business in Francis Avenue, Southsea, but had been impressed by how it was implemented.
‘They fit the scheme to the area,’ he said. ‘This is what you need to do otherwise you’ll drive away visitors. It’s a difficult issue and there’s no easy answer.’
At present the first permit is free, with a charge for further permits, but all business permits are charged for. Short-stay visitor permits can also be purchased.
The consultation will be in the July issue of the council’s Flagship magazine and also on the authority’s website.