Pedestrian zone causing problems for businesses on Southsea street

CLOSED TO TRAFFIC 'Palmerston Road, Southsea
CLOSED TO TRAFFIC 'Palmerston Road, Southsea

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UNHAPPY traders say changes to a Southsea street have affected their trade in a big way.

One business has seen a 50 per cent drop in takings and others are worried they could close down if the pedestrian zone in Palmerston Road isn’t scrapped.

As previously reported in The News, that part of the street was pedestrianised last year by the city council because it hoped it would create a ‘cafe culture’.

But companies say people are worried about traffic dangers because cars are still not abiding by the rules.

And because there’s less traffic it means motorists aren’t stopping by any more.

Buses are still allowed to use the road.

Sophie Curtis, manager of Preloved Portsmouth, said: ‘We have lost a lot of passing trade – people aren’t walking to the end of the road any more.

‘We have lost 50 per cent of our trade since the pedestrian zone was introduced.

‘Old ladies have been beeped at by buses as they walk down here and children who skate down here have had to avoid them.

‘I just want the council to make the road how it was.’

Shahin Uddin, owner of Kashmir restaurant said: ‘It’s a very difficult time. In a few months’ time we might have to close down because business has gone dead.

‘It used to be so busy here. Now it looks like a dead road.’

Gulab Mohammed, of Akram’s Oriental Supermarket, said: ‘The pedestrian zone is closing the businesses. Everyone is suffering.’

Seventeen shops have signed a letter which will be sent to the council in the hope it will make changes.

Linda Symes, of Clifton Road, who wrote the letter, has put together a petition which has attracted more than 1,300 signatures.

Ms Symes said: ‘We need to ask the council to look at the whole transport issue and see what is best.’

But Councillor Peter Eddis said: ‘As far as I am aware the majority of the businesses are still in favour of the pedestrian zone.

‘The initiative from this came from businesses in the first place.’

The results of a consultation over the future of Palmerston Road and Osborne Road are due to be revealed in the near future.