More concerns raised about Southsea traffic plans

BIG PLANS Palmerston Road in Southsea
BIG PLANS Palmerston Road in Southsea

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FRESH concerns have been raised over proposed changes to road layouts in Southsea.

Portsmouth City Council is asking residents for feedback as part of a public consultation on plans to improve traffic flow in the area.

The council either wants to extend Palmerston Road’s pedestrian zone down to Auckland Road East and West and block off access to buses, just ban public transport or keep things as they are.

But extending the zone could mean moving bollards on Villiers Road up to its junction with Palmerston Road, or else drivers leaving in nearby Palm Court and Villiers Court would be blocked in. The bollards were put there to stop drivers using roads as a rat-run.

Deputy conservative group leader Councillor Luke Stubbs said a clear plan needed to be put in place.

‘The council has no plan for managing the traffic in this area,’ he said.

‘Ever since Palmerston Road closed, it’s been in a panic making one change after another.

‘Now it may have to spend thousands moving nearly new bollards a few yards down the street. The council needs to stop, think and lay out a clear plan of what it is trying to achieve.

‘Otherwise we’re going to see more money wasted doing the job twice.’

Linda Symes, who lives in Clifton Road, Southsea, has been running a petition calling for a coherent plan.

She said: ‘This just goes to show why we need a public meeting and some real consultation on what is being done.

‘The only places taking advantage of the pedestrian zone are the pubs.

‘Extending the zone would be a problem for carers getting to Palm Court.’

On Saturday, people can find out more about the plans at a mobile exhibition on Palmerston Road. Councillor Jason Fazackarley, cabinet member for traffic and transport, said: ‘We wouldn’t allow a situation where people were blocked in.

‘If there is a flaw in the plan then we would need to change it.

‘If there’s massive opposition, we are not going to ignore it and we wouldn’t welcome a scheme which people are strongly against.’

As part of the consultation thoughts are being gathered on potential improvements to Osborne Road. As previously reported in The News, the council is looking to widen the pavements, improve pedestrian crossing points and appearance of the street, add atmospheric lighting and provide extra seating.

A separate consultation is being run on the experimental closure of Lennox Road South.

Temporary bollards have been put in place to stop traffic using the street to access the seafront.

To have your say on all the changes, fill out an online survey at surveymonkey.com/s/SouthseaTownCentreImprovements