CLAPPING, shouting and calls for order could be heard at yesterday’s traffic meeting where the divisive decision was made to reinstate two parking zones in Southsea.
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 homeowners in MB and MC will need permits to park between the hours of 4pm to 6pm and 5pm to 7pm respectively from January next year.
More than 30 members of the public attended the meeting, with nine making formal deputations both for and against the scheme.
Tory Cllr Simon Bosher believed the public survey that was carried out wasn’t conclusive. ‘The traffic regulation order was a prescriptive thing with a yes or no answer,’ he said.
‘And as far as I can see the responses today haven’t been black or white. I would suggest not making a decision today, and going away and creating a strategy that works. All this is going to do is shunt the problem. This is going to set neighbour against neighbour.’
As of January 1 next year permits will cost £30 for the first car, £100 for a second car and £590 for a third car.
Paul Aldridge, of Edmund Road in the MC area, said: ‘I want to know what we are getting for our money. In Portsmouth we have to pay for parking everywhere. So why can’t we have permits that aren’t limited to just one car, that we can give to someone visiting us?’
Cllr Stagg based her decision on survey results that were more in favour of having the zones but she knew it would not suit everyone. Speaking after the meeting she said: ‘It’s a very contentious thing. There’s no one answer. 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.
‘Unfortunately life revolves around cars. I did want this job but I knew it would be a poisoned chalice.’
A survey on a displacement area from MC, known as MD, will be carried out from November 5.
Residents spilt by MB and MC decisions
THE decision to bring back two parking zones that were removed in 2015 has led to friction between residents.
Many attended yesterday’s traffic and transportation meeting to make deputations and it was clear there was no outright solution for both homeowners and councillors.
Some welcomed the zones, believing it would make life easier.
John Bartle, of Stansted Road in the MB area, said: ‘We are often unable to park anywhere near our house. We often walk or take a taxi in the knowledge that if we take our car we will be unable to park it again. Our road is full of cars from outside the area.
‘For example, in July this year a BMW was left in our road for 12 weeks.
‘During the short life of the MB zone we were able to park close to our homes. I urge you to reinstate it.’
James Massiah was also in favour of MB but had some questions. ‘Personally I would like to see the MB zone brought back to its original format and across the whole of Southsea,’ he said.
‘However, I am concerned about how the new format of the MB zone will work. This two-hour parking window that’s being proposed I’m told is the answer to the scheme.
‘When most people come home from work it is between 4pm and 7.30pm. I would like the proposed window increased to cover those hours.’
But homeowner Debbie Bailey thought the cost of permits was too high. She said: ‘We have lived in our road for 15 years and we have not had much of a problem with parking. I want to know what I am going to do. We have three cars for our household. One is my daughter’s who is a student nurse and she needs it to do home visits.
‘I’d like to know how she is going to afford close to £600 for a permit.
‘Some people won’t want to pay because they still won’t be able to find a space. If it’s for our benefit then why is it so expensive?’
MB and MC will be reinstated on January 2.