Hindsight is a wonderful thing. But surely most people realised that the part-pedestrianisation of the south end of Southsea’s Palmerston Road was never likely to go totally smoothly.
Old habits die hard. When so many drivers have been used to turning left or right into a certain road for years, it becomes second nature.
So we’re not surprised that there are reports of motorists ignoring the new pedestrian zone.
Maybe they don’t intend to do so, but are just doing what they’ve always done without realising there’s been a fundamental change to the layout.
Then there’s the confusion caused by cycles and buses that are still being allowed to use the road.
Good signage is crucial so that motorists are left in no doubt that they should not drive into what is now a pedestrianised zone.
If the signs are big enough, clear enough and in the right places, there really can be no excuse.
So we’re pleased to hear Pam Turton, the city council’s assistant head of transport, pledge to ensure the signs are as effective as possible within government regulations.
The irony is that this part of Palmerston Road was opened up to the public in a bid to create a more welcoming, relaxing environment and foster a ‘cafe culture’ feel.
Instead some people have ended up feeling only shock and alarm as they are confronted by the appearance of unexpected traffic flouting the new rules.
This has to be a concern – Steve Hudson, manager of Drift Bar, says he has CCTV footage of children playing in the road because their parents don’t realise traffic can still use it.
We think the solution is to make this end of Palmerston Road completely pedestrianised, just like the other end.
That way there is no doubt. Yes, it would mean re-routing buses but surely that is not impossible?
People have to be allowed to walk in safety and comfort if pedestrianisation is to work and custom is to be attracted to businesses in Palmerston Road – and that means no vehicles.