Road set to open again after work to put in flower beds

CLOSURE Works at the new The Trafalgar Gate link road junction.      ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (111028-20)
CLOSURE Works at the new The Trafalgar Gate link road junction. ''Picture: Paul Jacobs (111028-20)
Victorious Festival. 
Picture: Paul Jacobs (142476-269)

Road closure warnings for Victorious Festival

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PART of a busy road which was closed for new flower beds to be put in is set to reopen next week.

PART of a busy road which was closed for new flower beds to be put in is set to reopen next week.

The decision to close one lane of the northbound Mile End Road, near the Trafalgar Gate link road, has drawn criticism from some motorists, but the city council insists shutting it was the only safe option.

Flowers are now being planted by the council’s contractor Colas. The firm says the work means the blooms will now not have to be replaced for up to 30 years.

The work comes as the council tries to install sustainable borders throughout the city to save money.

The council said it had not received any complaints about the lane closure, which has taken place from 9.30am to 3.30pm for the last two weeks. Funding for the landscaping came from the budget set aside for the Trafalgar Gate link road construction project.

Steve Elliott, Trafalgar Gate link road project manager, said: ‘During the major work to create Trafalgar Gate link road and right-turn lane, we wanted to take the opportunity to enhance the landscape on the entrance to the city.

‘To avoid disruption for motorists the work took place outside of peak hours. We hope this landscaping will create a welcoming environment and an attractive entrance to the city.

‘The planting has been deliberately chosen to create the impression of a coastal seafront. Shingle, grasses, pines, and colourful perennials remind people we are a city with a beach.’

Some motorists have questioned whether the scheme is worth disrupting the city for.

Van driver Darren Holmes, 34, of Victoria Road South, Southsea, said: ‘Is it really that important to plant new flowers on the side of the road?

‘I don’t mind giving the area a facelift, but not at the expense of drivers who end up sitting in yet more traffic.

‘Portsmouth is the most congested city I’ve ever lived in, and the council should be trying to reduce that, not make it worse.’

An overnight closure of the Mile End Road right-turn lane which takes drivers to Portsmouth Naval base is planned for next week, on Thursday, April 28, in order to paint new markings on the road. The lane will close between 7pm and 5am.