Pub’s discontent over new parking rules in Southsea

Breakdown workers preparing to haul out of the sea one of the cars involved in an accident on the Havant by-pass

THIS WEEK IN 1970: Havant by-pass cars plunge into the sea

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A PUB landlord says new parking restrictions are affecting his trade.

Portsmouth City Council has introduced a residents’ parking zone in Southsea which stipulates motorists can only park on certain roads between 5pm and 7pm every day.

The purpose of the scheme – which takes in 35 roads south of Jessie Road down to Albert Road – was to stop commuters and students leaving their cars all day in places where residents should have priority.

But Barry Kewell, landlord of the Northcote Hotel, in Francis Avenue, Southsea, says the changes have put his customers off from wanting to stop by after they finish work since they have to pay for a visitor pass.

Mr Kewell said: ‘I have had feedback from some of my customers that they will no longer be popping in for a quick drink on their way home from work as they can no longer park without buying a scratch card.

‘I have also been told by some of my football crowd on a Saturday who come in from out of town with a designated driver and who come back for a couple of drinks after the game that they will also not be coming in now.

‘That’s because they cannot get back from the match before the 5pm deadline.’

Mr Kewell, chairman of Albert Road Pub Watch, raised his concerns with Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, leader of the council, at its latest meeting.

Mr Kewell questioned whether businesses were asked their say on whether they wanted the scheme introduced.

Cllr Vernon-Jackson went away and found out they did, and no overwhelming rejections were made.

Cllr Vernon-Jackson also said there were plenty of pubs in the city that operated within a resident parking zone, and didn’t have problems caused by it.

‘Old Portsmouth pubs have been in resident parking schemes for 10 years and they are continuing to trade,’ he said.

‘I think the scheme is bedding in and I have only had one or two complaints about it.

But Cllr Luke Stubbs, who represents Eastney and Craneswater, said the success of the scheme can’t be judged yet since students are away on their Easter break.

But he also warned roads outside the scheme were beginning to get filled up by cars that don’t qualify for the two-hour permits.