City residents’ anger at proposed price hikes for parking permits

Residents could have to pay more for their parking permits.
Residents could have to pay more for their parking permits.
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DRIVERS in Portsmouth have reacted angrily to plans that could see parking permit costs rocket.

People who park their cars in permit zones could end up paying £630 a year for use of a third car at an address.

Portsmouth City Council proposes to increase the cost of a second and third permit at each address by £20 and £40 respectively over the next three years.

It’s a move that follows the quadrupling of the third parking permit price that was introduced last year.

A household with three cars within the zone could pay up to £880 a year for its vehicles in 2020 under the new measures – which include an additional administrative fee of £100 per multi-vehicle permit.

This equates to an increase of £280 from the current level.

With the way Portsmouth is, people need to have cars to get around and on and off the island as public transport is not up to standard and too costly.

Michael Brown

Painter and decorator Michael Brown had to give up his third parking permit for his business van after the costs spiralled last year.

‘It is ridiculous,’ he said.

‘You cannot just keep upping up the price. With the way Portsmouth is, people need to have cars to get around and on and off the island as public transport is not up to standard and too costly.’

Mr Brown, of Lower Derby Road, Portsmouth added: ‘Increasing charges is just not the right option as people will have no choice but to pay them.’

Conservative councillor Simon Bosher, cabinet member for transport, said the proposals were about cutting the city’s car usage and tackling the levels of air pollution.

He said: ‘There are challenges we are facing in our parking permit zones in relation to a number of parking pressures. What these increases will do is ask drivers to question whether they really need a second or third car and to promote using other forms of transport in the city.’

He cited the council’s proposals to bring a bike scheme to the city in 2018 and upgrades to Portsmouth’s various cycle paths as evidence that other forms of transport would improve in the future.

The new proposals also include scrapping four-day and seven-day visitor parking permits, while 12-hour and 24-hour visitor permits will each go up by 5p and 10p respectively over the next three years to £1.15 and £2.20.

In September, fresh calls were made for a city-wide resident parking zone following a report by the council’s traffic, environment and community safety scrutiny panel.

Cllr Bosher, who is not part of the panel, said he did not know if a proposed scheme would affect the parking charges.

Liberal Democrat Councillor Lynn Stagg, opposition cabinet member for transport, said she could ‘understand’ why parking permits were going up.

She said: ‘It is going to affect a lot of people, but I can understand why they are doing it. We simply have too many vehicles in this city and this might lead to people re-thinking about having a second and third car.

‘Having said that, we need to improve our transport system. Not enough people are using the buses and that puts us in a catch-22 situation.’

Andrew Leibrick, who pays for two permits for his vehicles in Newcombe Road, Fratton, said: ‘This proposed price hike is disgusting. I see people without permits park and get away with it,while others struggle to get a spot outside their homes. It’s just not on for what you pay.’

A resident with two cars in a Southsea permit zone, who wished to remain anonymous, added: ‘We just got a driveway done because the permits are so expensive.’

A decision on the proposals will be made at a meeting next Thursday at 4pm.