TOURISTS to Portsmouth are getting an eyeful of an eyesore on their way to the Historic Dockyard.
A pile of rubbish and discarded building materials is stacking up on a site in Queen Street, between the main entrance to the dockyard and a car park used by visitors on the way to the city’s top attractions.
Mike Critchley, who runs a bookshop just outside the Victory Gate, said he was disappointed the rubbish had been allowed to build up.
He said most of the rubbish looked like discarded household waste but there were also bigger pieces of wood and refuse and what looked like a site where people had been having bonfires.
Mr Critchley said tourists commented on the rubbish when visiting his store.
He said: ‘I’ve travelled to world-class maritime history sites throughout the world, from Hawaii to Moscow, and it’s a shame to see this rubbish spoiling the experience of visitors to our own world-class site in Portsmouth.
‘We get people in here from overseas who point out the piles of rubbish and site where’s there’s been bonfires.
‘It just looks like people have used it as a convenient dumping ground for people to throw their rubbish.
‘It’s not a very good shop window for what is a world-class heritage site.’
Mr Critchley called for the rubbish to be cleaned up so that visitors left with a better impression of the city.
He said: ‘I guess it’s down to the owner of the property and the community as a whole to who genuinely depend on visitors coming to the Historic Dockyard.’
Mr Critchley called for the whole area of The Hard to be regenerated.
He said: ‘The naval base and what’s on display in there gets rave reviews – it’s just the pretty grotty area around it that lets people down.’
As reported in The News, Portsmouth City Council is planning a crackdown on public littering from May.
People will face on-the-spot fines if caught throwing away as little as a cigarette butt, or allowing their dogs to mess the pavement.