As an owner of Sopranos, a restaurant in Palmerston Road and a long term resident of Netley Road, I whole heartedly agree with Tarnia Simmons’ assessment of the situation in Palmerston Road.
The area is suffering as a consequence of the pedestrianisation as it is having a serious impact on businesses and residents alike.
As a business it was meant to encourage a ‘cafe culture’, but all it has done is create another Guildhall Walk, where I and most of my customers would be too intimidated by the swarms of drunken revellers and the ever-present police presence at weekends in the form of police cars and wagons parked at either end of the pedestrianised area. Add to this the lack of parking and access for cars which discourages visitors from coming to Southsea.
As a resident, the lack of an alternative travel route for cars which previously drove down Palmerston Road has led to my road, Netley Road, becoming a rat-run as it has in Lennox Road South and Florence Road.
The lack of consultation before the changes were made is disgusting, and when many traders made their feelings known against the plans, our views were ignored.
And now they say they may increase the pedestrianised zone.
Can the council please rethink everything and consider maybe making the road one way, allowing for access and parking and wider pavements for more tables and chairs outside? The same for Osborne Road too.
From talking to customers everyday and from discussions with my neighbours I am yet to find someone who is in favour of the pedestrianisation of the area.