THE leader of Portsmouth City Council has defended the decision to permanently axe free parking permits.
Councillor Donna Jones has released a video explaining why it is no longer ‘sustainable’ to continue providing free passes to drivers living in resident parking zones.
It comes after Tory traffic boss Councillor Ken Ellcome revealed residents will be asked their views on a £40 yearly charge for first permits.
But they will not be given a say on whether they want to keep their free permits – a decision which has been described as ‘blackmail’ by Lib Dems as parking zones will be pulled and permits taken away in areas where motorists do not want to pay up.
Cllr Jones said the additional income will help to introduce more zones which have been requested by residents – and pledged there will be no charges for anyone living outside a parking zone.
Readers have voiced their frustration over the plans on the News Facebook page.
Jamie Hill said: Nobody asked for this in the first place. It’s been put in a place and a free permit issued for the first vehicle with a charge for any additional vehicles. That to me is fair.
‘To then tell you it’s going to be £40, I think is unreasonable.’
Halema Pink said: ‘Don’t you think residents pay enough? Council tax, car tax and now they want you to pay to park outside your house!
‘Glad I have a garage.’
David Terry said: ‘Can we have an annual vote on how much of a pay rise we give our councillors?
‘I’m sure most of Pompey would vote nothing.’
Richard Comben added: ‘In our street the scheme is a complete waste of time as the parking wardens hardly ever come down and check vehicles’ permits!
‘It is just an easy way to gain revenue for the council.’