TRAFFIC “havoc” in a Winchester neighbourhood could be over after a clampdown on commuters was agreed.

Civic chiefs scrapped free daytime parking around Courtenay Road, near Abbotts Barton, in a bid to tackle disruption caused by careless drivers.

Motorists speed and obstruct driveways, endangering children and blocking emergency services, residents told Winchester City Council on Tuesday.

Dee Flower, of Abbotts Road, told the parking committee that cars left by junctions create “havoc” with oncoming traffic while wall-to-wall parking blocks vital access to elderly residents.

“An accident is waiting to happen,” she said. “My disabled father can no longer visit. Deliveries become impossible. Carers and other help are restricted. Essential repairs can't be carried out.

"We urge you to please pass this proposal unchanged and give us back our once safe and strong community."

Hampshire Chronicle:

A photo shown to the committee of a bus unable to get past parked cars in Courtenay Road

Police have been called “on numerous occasions” to move badly-parked vehicles, council officer Neville Crisp said in his report.

The council received 22 objections from commuters who said they weren’t consulted and couldn’t afford to spend an extra £1,000 per year to park elsewhere.

Chris Sealey, of Park Road, called for compromise, saying workers on low incomes rely on free parking and had a right to use the bays.

"While I’m sure there’s no substance to this,” he said, “it would be all too easy to take the view that this is an affluent neighbourhood attempting to take control of a public space and which could seriously affect the livelihoods of their fellow citizens.

“A number of those who park all day are employed or do business in Winchester. They raise legitimate questions about the inadequacies of parking and public transport arrangements in north Winchester.”

The city has lost several free parking zones over the last few years, including parts of Hyde and Fulflood.

Cllr Chris Pines said walking, cycling and public transport had to be taken on board when making parking decisions.

Commuters are being encouraged to use park and ride buses, set to be boosted by new sites in Pitt Manor and Barton Farm, to save money and ease city centre congestion.