Controversial bollards removed from Portsmouth road after fire service danger warning

Traffic calming measures in Lennox Road South in Southsea.''Picture: Ian Hargeaves  (131278-1)
Traffic calming measures in Lennox Road South in Southsea.''Picture: Ian Hargeaves (131278-1)
Chirk Aqueduct and railway viaduct.

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A ROAD which had been closed by bollards was reopened after Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said they were putting lives at risk.

Portsmouth City Council reopened Lennox Road South yesterday, after an experimental order to block the road was introduced in April.

But at a meeting the fire service outlined its concerns.

Dave Smith, group manager of Portsmouth for Hampshire Fire and Rescue service, said: ‘We normally support Portsmouth Road Schemes however, on this occasion, due to public safety, we had to stress how important it is that our emergency service vehicles are able to travel to an incident as quickly as possible.

‘Fires can develop extremely fast and in order to reduce the potential for fire spread, which could put threat to life, we need to be able to respond quickly and efficiently.

‘We would like to thank Portsmouth City Council for acting upon our concerns’.

But the change was not welcomed by everyone.

Resident Lynne Winnals, 69, said: ‘I don’t drive but it’s been a lot quieter down here. I thought it was a good idea doing all this.

‘It’s safer for people to cross the road with children and older ones like myself.’

Stuart Ball, 54, added: ‘We are back to square one with a residents road being used as a main cut-through for the seafront. It’s not suitable for two-way traffic because it’s not wide enough.

‘I can understand the fire brigade’s view but it opens up the road for everyone and we are back to a busy road.’

Lennox Road South was blocked after the amount of traffic caused safety concerns for residents.

That prevented vehicles from reaching or leaving the seafront via Lennox Road South or via Villiers Road, which are minor roads and unsuitable for large volumes of two-way traffic.

The bollard in Villiers Road will remain in place.

Councillor Jason Fazackarley, the council’s cabinet member for traffic and transportation, said: ‘When we are faced with something like that we felt there was no option but to pull the scheme.

‘I know that residents are not happy with the decision. We will look at what other options we can do for Lennox Road South.’