A PORTSMOUTH landlord says the future of his pub will be jeopardised if new parking restrictions are imposed.
Two areas of Southsea, previously known as MC and MB zones, are in line to become permitted parking zones for residents once again if council proposals go ahead. But Barry Kewell who runs the Northcote Hotel on Francis Avenue thinks the scheme will do more harm than good. The 69-year-old said: ‘My customers won’t be able to park. There is no car park anywhere near here. And then there are my staff. Some of them come from places like Cosham and Paulsgrove, what are they supposed to do?’ Mr Kewell has run the pub for 28 years and said this was a problem before. ‘When the permits were put in place a few years ago I noticed a lot of our regular customers stopped coming,’ he added. ‘I already pay exorbitant business rates and council tax like all the other businesses in the area. ‘We have two cars because both my wife and I need to get stock and other items at different times and now I will be asked to pay even more money to park my car. Having our cars is not a luxury but a necessity. ‘Pubs and businesses are closing at a great rate. Does the council realise they are killing the very heart of this city with nothing but sheer greed?’ The potential reinstatement of the zones is part of a city-wide review of parking permits, but consultations will be held before decisions can be made. Cllr Suzy Horton, who represents Central Southsea ward, explained the system. She said: ‘MC zone used to allow anyone to park there except between the hours of 5pm-7pm when it was residents only. A similar system might also be used in MB. ‘I do appreciate what Mr Kewell is saying but it might not affect his customers that much if the zone is the same as it was before. ‘It is a really big issue in my ward. There was overwhelming evidence from the survey that residents wanted the zones back.’ The council leader, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, added: ‘There will be a formal consultation before anything can go ahead. You can’t just change something like this.’ Consultations will take place once the report is heard at a council meeting.