Portsmouth City Council is proposing to change the eligibility criteria for resident parking permits in relation to student Halls of Residence. The proposal is in support of an objective shared with the University of Portsmouth, which aims to reduce the number of cars in the city.

The University of Portsmouth has a strong policy of discouraging students from bringing cars into the city. However, a change in the way postal addresses are allocated means students living in Halls are eligible to apply for parking permits, in contradiction with the university's policy. 

Through public consultation, the council is proposing to bring council and university policies in line by changing the Traffic Regulation Order. This will mean those in Halls of Residence will no longer be eligible for a parking permit. There are however some exceptions, such as blue badge holders.

This, along with the success of the Park & Ride and the introduction of quieter cycle and walking routes aims to further eliminate the need for students to bring a car into the city 

Pam Turton, Portsmouth's assistant director for transport, said.  "We fully support the university's policy on discouraging students in bringing cars into the city. We work closely with the university on promoting sustainable alternatives to the car, such as the new dedicated Park and Ride route.

We have planned the consultation in order to give students as much notice as possible, so any new students coming to Portsmouth are fully aware of our parking permit rules."  

A University of Portsmouth spokesperson said: "The University has agreed with Portsmouth City Council to participate fully in policies aimed at alleviating traffic and parking congestion in the city. Students accepting a place in any of our halls of residence must agree not to bring a car to Portsmouth and to use local transport links, except in exceptional circumstances confirmed by the University such as blue badge holders and paramedic students. We are fully supportive of the proposed change."

The consultation has been planned for the beginning of February, to enable the criteria to be changed ahead of the new academic year. The council will work with the university to ensure students are fully aware of the consultation and have the opportunity to comment.

The proposed change will only affect new applications, existing permit holders would not be affected and it would not prevent disabled students from obtaining and using blue badges.