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Portsmouth is one of the many UK cities encouraging both visitors and residents to leave the car at home where possible. As the city is relatively small and flat, with many attractions situated just a stone’s throw from one another, it’s one of the easiest cities to traverse on foot or bike. That said, more than 75% of visitors still travel to Portsmouth by car, so parking must be considered.

The easiest way for visitors to explore the city is via the Park & Ride service located towards the bottom of the M275. This service runs regular buses from the car park to the city centre, Hard Interchange, Cascades shopping centre, Charles Dickens’ Birthplace Museum and Portsmouth International Port. The Park & Ride opens at 6.30am Monday – Friday and 7.30am on Saturdays. It closes at 8pm. Sunday opening is 8.30am to 6.45pm.

Many streets throughout Old Portsmouth, Southsea, Fratton, North End and Cosham operate Residential Permit Zones, meaning only those who live there are able to leave their cars long term. Typically, visitors are granted between one and three hours, but will need a permit to stay any longer beyond this. Some zones do not allow any free parking for any length of time. There are more than 30 zones in operation across the city.

Users of the Portsmouth International Port can take advantage of the on-site long stay multi-story car park, which is open 24 hours a day. There’s also 24-hour parking available at the Market Way NCP, on the site of the old Tricorn Centre behind Commercial Road, and at the Crasswell Street Surface car park, outside the city centre Tesco.

The award-winning car park at Gunwharf Quays is also open 24-hours a day. The underground park has won prizes for its safety and security, and was also one of the first in the UK to achieve the Disabled Parking Accreditation. Anyone travelling to the Isle of Wight can park at Gunwharf Quays for a reduced rate (excluding festival periods).

Pay and display coach parking is available on the northern sides of St George’s Road and Museum Road, between Southsea and Gunwharf Quays, as well as on Clarence Esplanade and Cascades Approach.

Hauliers can park at the truckstops in Portsmouth International Port (for those with onward travel to the continent) or at the Portsmouth Truckstop on Walton Road, Farlington. The Farlington facility offers secure overnight parking, rooms for overnight stays and fuel.

More information on the city’s travel and transport can be found on the My Journey Portsmouth website.