CONCERNED businesses say the introduction of barriers in a controversial pedestrian zone will cut them off.
As reported, Portsmouth City Council is considering putting them at both ends of the precinct in the south part of Palmerston Road, Southsea, to stop traffic coming through.
But employers say the move hasn’t been thought through properly, and the road should be reopened because their trade is being affected.
Marion Wren, owner of Preloved Portsmouth, said trade was down 70 per cent and feels isolated enough without barriers being there.
‘It sounds all wonderful but for me, it’s soul-destroying seeing an empty high street every day.
‘The council is not doing anything to support the small businesses.
‘The barriers would just isolate us even more. It’s very, very worrying.
‘The council hasn’t thought any of it through.’
Gulab Mohammed, co-owner of Akram’s Oriental Supermarket, said: ‘It will definitely make it worse.
‘I don’t want the council to do that.
‘If the barriers were up and someone wanted to come through and they were carrying something big, they wouldn’t be able to.
‘I don’t know why this idea is being considered, it’s total nonsense.’
A survey by The News and the council showed firms weren’t happy with the existing restrictions, which stop all vehicles except buses coming through.
Changes are being considered because traffic ignore the rules and drive through anyway.
Buses would be diverted via Clarendon Road.
Linda Symes, of Clifton Road, who got 1,400 people to sign a petition against the zone, said: ‘Putting barriers in will close the place down.
‘They will make things even worse.’
Councillor Luke Stubbs, deputy Conservative group leader, said: ‘The problem with the whole thing is, it never has a plan.
‘That’s why the council put planters in and took them out, and put bollards in Lennox Road South and took them out again. Now it wants to put in barriers. How can we be certain that in six months time, the council won’t take them out?’