Portsmouth seafront road closures to remain for now
Temporary seafront road closures that have created a safe space for cycling and walking in Portsmouth will remain for now, it has been announced.
Portsmouth City Council said it had reviewed data in making a decision about the future of the measures, which are aimed at helping stop the spread of coronavirus.
A citywide survey completed by more than 2,000 residents showed that 54 per cent felt the road closure had had a positive impact on their use of the seafront, while 21 per cent felt its impact had been negative.
This was supported by 12-hour counts of people cycling and walking along the seafront road in two locations, which recorded several thousand people using the seafront, with no serious accidents being recorded by the police.
Potential changes to the eastern seafront road closure to ease traffic pressure on Eastern Parade were investigated. The lack of availability of physical barriers to put in any changes safely, however, meant that options to amend the closure quickly were not possible, said the council.
It is anticipated that the need for additional space for walking and cycling will reduce as children return to school in September and, as such, Eastney Esplanade will reopen to motor vehicles on the evening of Sunday, September 13 and the western seafront road closure will be reopened on September 30 in the evening.
Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, leader of the council, said: “As promised, we have reviewed the temporary changes to roads in response to the pandemic and the data shows that 54 percent of people are in favour of the change along with an increase in usage, this clearly show the changes should remain until September.
“We are reopening the roads to vehicles at this point as this is when less people visit the seafront, but if infection rates increase or government guidance changes we will reconsider the temporary seafront road closure. Work will continue in other areas of the city to make space for safer cycling and walking.”