Residents who hold valid parking permits in Portsmouth will soon see more enforcement to make sure people are complying with parking restrictions in their areas, thanks to new technology, including a specialist vehicle, set to be introduced later this year.

Portsmouth City Council is embarking on a trial of innovative parking measures designed to promote more compliance with parking regulations and efficiency within residential parking zones (RPZs), marking a significant advancement in parking management for residents. It’s hoped that this will lead to spaces being more readily available for residents with valid permits and reduce the incidence of non-permit holders flouting the regulations.

Central to these measures is the deployment of a specialised enforcement vehicle tasked with identifying vehicles without permits within residential parking zones during operating hours. This technology will be rolled out in RPZs throughout Portsmouth from the summer.

Ordinarily, Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) have to conduct manual inspections, walking down streets and individually checking parked vehicles using handheld devices. However, with the introduction of this innovative vehicle, the enforcement process is streamlined, enabling CEOs to conduct a greater number of checks across a wider area in a significantly shorter timeframe. This proactive approach empowers parking staff to ensure that parking remains accessible to residents with valid permits within their neighbourhoods.

When the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) camera on the vehicle detects a potential parking contravention, it alerts a CEO, who will then conduct a manual verification. Not all alerts will result in a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN), as CEOs will assess each situation manually, taking into consideration factors such as visitor parking permits or special circumstances like vehicles displaying blue badges.

The vehicle is also equipped to detect vehicles that have not paid vehicle excise duty (otherwise known as road tax), enabling further necessary checks and appropriate actions if this the case.

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “As we expand our residential parking zones, effective enforcement becomes increasingly crucial. The introduction of this cutting-edge enforcement vehicle represents a significant leap forward in our commitment to assuring residents that their parking zones are being managed fairly and efficiently.”

Wilke Reints, Managing Director of Yunex Traffic in the UK, said: “Working collaboratively with Portsmouth City and our solution partners, we are pleased to support the introduction of this visible and highly efficient means of enforcing parking zones. This is the latest measure we have introduced to help improve traffic flow, pedestrian safety and air quality in Portsmouth with our technology already widely used to enforce to numerous school zones and bus lanes. We very much look forward to seeing the trial results over the coming weeks and months.”

Resident parking zones are in place at various locations across the city. When people enter an RPZ, they will see signs reading ‘Controlled Zone’. They are also identified by further signs stating that permit holders are exempt, with a two-letter code to identify the specific zone.

More information about resident parking zones can be found at https://www.portsmouth.gov.uk/services/parking-roads-and-travel/parking/resident-parking-zones/.

Pictured: From left to right, Cllrs Kimberly Barrett, Cllr Lee Hunt, Cllr Peter Candlish, Cllr Darren Sanders, Cllr Suzy Horton and Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson with the parking test vehicle. The specialist vehicle that the council will receive later this year will be a different vehicle.

Pictured: From left to right, Cllr Kimberly Barrett, Cllr Lee Hunt, Cllr Peter Candlish, Cllr Darren Sanders, Cllr Suzy Horton and Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson with the parking test vehicle. The specialist vehicle that the council will receive later this year will be a different vehicle.