AN IRATE motorist is threatening to stage a one-man parking protest by leaving his car outside the home of a Southampton councillor.

Tony Rumsey, 59, of Coxford Drove, claims residents are often prevented from parking outside their own homes because places are taken up by people working at nearby Southampton University Hospital.

Mr Rumsey tried to reserve a space by placing cones in the road and says the city council threatened to take legal action against him.

Now he is vowing to leave his vehicle outside the home of Labour councillor Tammy Thomas "to see how she likes it".

Mr Rumsey said: "The council says if I put a cone out to save a parking space they’re taking me to court. I'm blocking a highway, apparently, so I have no rights to park outside my own house.

“We’ve always had trouble (with parking), the council just don’t want to know."

Mr Rumsey said residents should be able to buy parking permits while staff at the hospital ought to be provided with free parking.

“The staff get charged to park in the hospital car park - that’s wrong,” he said.

Cllr Thomas said: "I am saddened that Mr Rumsey didn't contact me. I would have been happy to share my photos and numerous communications highlighting the parking problems in and around the Coxford Ward, but particularly Coxford Drove.

"My ward colleagues and I are very aware of the problem and are working hard for a resolution.

"Whilst there is no direct entitlement to park outside your own home I completely understand the frustrations. I also understand why our brilliant hospital staff try to park as close to work as possible.

"They are not provided with free parking, they are underpaid and undervalued by this government, so I want to help them too."

Cllr Steve Leggett, cabinet member for green city and place, added: "The new resident parking schemes around the UHS Hospital are due to commence implementation in early 2021.

“Letters will be sent to residents to confirm when permits will be available and when the scheme will formally commence.

"While we understand that the availability of parking spaces can sometimes cause difficulties, using obstructions such as cones and bins to reserve spaces on the public highway can be unsafe and is not permitted."