Portsmouth Cycle Forum urge council to bid for transport money to improve roads

Portsmouth Cycle Forum has called on the council to bid for government cash to help improve roads
Portsmouth Cycle Forum has called on the council to bid for government cash to help improve roads

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CALLS have been made by cyclists for politicians to bid for government cash to help improve roads.

Portsmouth Cycle Forum has issued the challenge in light of figures showing the number of riders getting injured continues to rise.

As reported, department for transport statistics revealed that compared with other cities around the UK – more bike riders were involved in accidents in Portsmouth in one year.

The figure – 832 cyclists injured per one million of the population – makes it the most hazardous place for cyclists to be outside London.

Council officers made a presentation at the forum’s latest meeting highlighting where improvements were being made to road markings and signs at junctions to make traffic safe.

But cycle campaigners say making small changes here and there isn’t enough – and serious money needs to be clinched to enable accident hot spots to be redesigned.

Jon Spencer, chairman of Portsmouth Cycle Forum, said: ‘The rate of cycle casualties in the city warrants more investment than what is being put in.

‘Officers currently don’t have access to more money, so it’s a challenge for politicians to connect them to the funding they need.

‘But in order to do that, we need a proper cycling strategy for the city which provides that vision for change.’

Mr Spencer said the council should take note of what is happening in places like Bristol, where there is talk of a £35m transport improvement scheme.

Council officers revealed an area particularly hazardous for cyclists was the route from Fratton Road up to London Road, in North End.

Alterations are already being made to the junction of Milton Road and Velder Avenue and road markings have been improved between Alfred Road and Bishop Crispian Way.

Councillor Ken Ellcome, Conservative cabinet member for traffic and transport, said officers would seek whether there are pots of money available.

But Cllr Ellcome said it would be difficult to make more major changes since space in the city is tight.

‘We have already been given a lot of money from government for schemes like the Northern Road Bridge and the Tipner park and ride, but if there is any money to be had for cycling then we will bid for it,’ he said.