Relief as plans to charge premium rates for parking in Portsmouth are axed

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PLANS to charge premium parking rates for some parts of Portsmouth have been ditched.

Councillor Jason Fazackarley, who is in charge of traffic and transport for Portsmouth City Council, took the decision to scrap increased charges of £1 for 20 minutes and £3 an hour for parking bays near popular areas.

The cabinet member rejected the plans, which were put forward by the council’s parking department, after scores of businesses voiced their disapproval during a six-week public consultation.

The charges would have been brought in for bays in Marmion Road, College Street, Landport View, Lower Church Path, Station Street, Paradise Street and Slindon Street.

Bays at The Hard and Clarence Esplanade would also have been affected.

Landlord Paul Eldred, who runs The Marmion Tavern, in Marmion Road, Southsea, said he was relieved by the decision.

‘The council has obviously seen sense,’ he said.

‘Its a big relief. I personally don’t think the council would have made extra money because people wouldn’t have paid such an extortionate amount. Businesses would have then ended up closing as a result.’

Vishal Nanda, manager of Kirby’s Store in College Street, Portsea, said: ‘I’m relieved.

‘My customers would have ended up trying their luck parking for free on the double yellow lines.

‘They would have never paid a £1 just to pop by the store. The price of everything is going up in the city. Petrol and rent is on the increase so this was the last thing we needed.’

It is not known how much extra revenue the charges would have made for the city council.

Cllr Fazackarley said: ‘The idea behind the parking department’s proposals was to increase the turnover of cars near popular areas.

‘But I wasn’t comfortable about it because on top of the negative feedback that was received I personally didn’t want to see an increase in parking charges in Portsmouth. The parking department will now look at alternative ways to improve parking in Portsmouth.’

He added: ‘I want to work with them to find ways of improve parking in the city because it has been an issue for quite some time.

‘People know there isn’t much room in the city to park.’