Are permit zones the way to solve Portsmouth’s parking problems? 

Picture: Paul Jacobs
Picture: Paul Jacobs
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PARKING is a problem that has plagued Portsmouth drivers for years.

Not only is it rare to park for free when out and about in the city, but now more and more homeowners are having to pay for the privilege of leaving their cars in their roads as the numbers of residents' parking zones increase.

After a tumultuous traffic and transport meeting last week it was decided that two new zones, called MB and MC, would be reinstated in Southsea, three years after they were removed by the previous council administration.

READ MORE: Controversial parking zones for Southsea residents given the go ahead 

Currently Portsmouth has 33 such schemes around the city, with the first one established in 1999. However, several more are earmarked for future implementation.

Each zone adheres to different conditions, tailor-made for the specific problems faced in that area.

READ MORE: Parking zone decision was never going to suit all

Portsmouth City Council's cabinet member for transport, Councillor Lynne Stagg, said: 'Each parking zone is designed to address the specific issues residents highlight in their area. Some residents may have experienced difficulty parking at certain times, while some may be affected by tourist attractions, shopping areas or a large employer operating nearby.

'The residents' parking programme is a rolling programme. It is important that we continue to listen to residents' feedback and monitor parking in residential areas responding to the ever-changing landscape of the city.'

But new zones are only considered if enough residents contact the council with parking concerns.

'Proposed zones are added to our residents' parking programme when residents tell us they are experiencing problems parking where they live,' Cllr Stagg added.

'After the proposed zone has been reviewed, and a decision has been made to consult on the zone, all residents in the area are sent a survey. This is to gauge interest and to gather information on the parking problems they experience.

'Once the area has been assessed, a residents' parking zone is designed. Zones are only put in after a detailed public consultation and the final decision is made at a public meeting.'

Parking permits cost £30 for the first car, £80 for the second and £550 for the third or further vehicles.

These costs are set to go up as of January 2019 to £100 for a second car and £590 for the third and others. The price of the first car permit will remain the same.