Portsmouth Cycle Forum support group’s walking strategy for city

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CYCLISTS are backing the bid to make Portsmouth a walking city.

Members of the Portsmouth Cycle Forum said they welcomed the plans unveiled by the city’s Friends of the Earth group.

Active travel and getting people out of their cars and moving around the city can only be a good thing.

Jon Spencer

It wants to see people ditch their cars and walk short journeys to reduce carbon emissions and improve the health of residents.

Jon Spencer, a committee member of the forum, said: ‘We absolutely support the walking strategy. It is a really good thing.

‘Active travel and getting people out of their cars and moving around the city can only be a good thing.

‘It will help get roads free of cars and will help with problems of congestion.’

As previously reported in The News, Friends of the Earth wants to get support from Portsmouth City 
Council to make the plan a reality.

It wants to see the strategy become part of the Portsmouth Plan, which looks at policies the council wants to adopt for the next 11 years.

If the council takes on the project, the group wants to see key areas identified as walking routes, continuous signs put up to direct pedestrians to attractions and some pavements made wider.

And for Jon, the plans could help improve routes for cyclists.

He added: ‘Portsmouth could be a nice place for people to walk and cycle.

‘The way that space is allocated is that most of it goes to cars and parking and very little space is for pedestrians and cyclists.

‘If they start making changes to pathways, they could make it safe for both people walking and those cycling.

‘We have a similar strategy that we published called a City to Share, which would be complimentary to the walking strategy.

‘We don’t want to see cyclists preferred at the expense of pedestrians or the other way around. We want to see a bit more space for both.’

Friends of the Earth is using Winchester as an example of a walking city as it adopted a strategy in 2014.

At its meeting on Monday there was a talk from district councillor Liz Kessler who helped lead the city’s walking strategy.

Rachel Hudson, from Friends of the Earth, said: ‘Portsmouth is a city for people, not just for cars.

‘If you improve the roads then you will encourage people to drive so if you improve the pathways, then you will be encouraging more people to walk.’