Did the planners know that motor cars would one day replace horse and carts?

THEN Chelsea Road, Southsea 1906. Not a car in sight but the road has been built to a standard width.

THEN Chelsea Road, Southsea 1906. Not a car in sight but the road has been built to a standard width.

Doris: to the mayorality born

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When driving on Portsmouth’s side streets do you ever wonder what on earth made the architects, thankfully, design the roads to be so wide?

At the turn of the last century, when most of Portsmouth’s roads were laid out, there was no such thing as the motor car, as this 1906 picture of Chelsea Road, Southsea, shows.

NOW Chelsea Road, Southsea from the same position today with double lines of cars.

NOW Chelsea Road, Southsea from the same position today with double lines of cars.

All they had to go on was the width of a large horse and cart, yet they still designed the houses to have front gardens, pavements and a double-width road.

I sometimes wonder if they saw into the future and thought: ‘In 100 years there are going to be cars and vans parked in these roads.

‘We’ll lay them out so that there can be parking on both sides of the road with just enough room to get a fire engine up the middle.’

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