COMMENT: Parking zone decision was never going to suit all

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Yesterday’s decision to reinstate parking zones in Southsea and force residents to pay to park outside their own homes has opened a can of worms.

Portsmouth City Council’s head of traffic, Councillor Lynne Stagg, accepted officers’ recommendations to implement zones MB and MC in a move that one of her colleagues warned would ‘set neighbour against neighbour’.

As a result of the controversial decision, homeowners in MB and MC will need permits to park between the hours of 4pm and 6pm and 5pm and 7pm respectively from January.

And as of January permits will cost £30 for the first car, £100 for a second car and £590 for a third.

It was clear from the meeting that there was no outright solution for both homeowners and councillors.

The majority of residents are up in arms over the plan with Paul Aldridge, who lives in Edmund Road saying: ‘I want to know what we are getting for our money. Why can’t we have permits that aren’t limited to just one car?’

And Tory councillor Simon Bosher said: ‘All this is going to do is shunt the problem. This is going to set neighbour against neighhour.’

It was one of those decisions that was never going to please everyone.

Cllr Stagg based her decision on survey results that were more in favour of having the zones but she admitted herself it would not suit everyone. ‘It’s a very contentious thing. But if we don’t have the zones a lot of people will be complaining that they have nowhere to park but if we do we get people complaining for other reasons,’ she said.

It was a difficult decision trying to balance the needs of the residents and preventing others from parking their vehicles there.

Let’s just hope for all concerned the right decision has been made.