Portsmouth City Council has shut off the southern end of Palmerston Road to create space for social distancing and give restaurants and bars a chance to adopt a more ‘continental style’.
The road closure begins today (Friday, August 14) with businesses set to use the extra space from tomorrow.
The council says the idea was the brainchild of the road’s independent traders and has been developed alongside residents.
Councillor Steve Pitt, the council's deputy leader and cabinet member for culture, leisure and economic development, said: ‘We are pleased we have been able to work with businesses to support their idea of a more continental-style atmosphere on the street as part of our commitment to support the economic recovery of local businesses.
‘We appreciate as with all new schemes, some people have concerns and we have tried hard to address these when developing the plans.
‘As part of the consultations, residents reported some previous issues with anti-social behaviour and we are hoping closing the road to traffic and prioritising seated eating and drinking, will have a positive impact, helping to create a relaxed atmosphere.
‘As a scheme that is being implemented in response to identified need in respect of Covid-19 we will be continually monitoring this temporary scheme on a monthly basis.’
The closure stretches between Palmerston Road’s junctions with Villiers Road and Osborne Road but will still allow deliveries before 11am.
A temporary suspension of the one-way system in Villiers Road, between the Vale and Palm Court, has also come into play to allow disabled and resident parking.
The loading bay at Palmerston Road’s junction with Auckland Road West has been temporarily be moved to the junction with Villiers Road.
Meanwhile a passing point to allow social distancing will be implemented adjacent to restaurants Bonita’s, Soprano’s and Meat and Barrel, with venues invited to join a new trade association backed by Shaping Portsmouth.
Residents and businesses can report their concerns about the closure to the council’s business support team on (023) 9284 1641.
The initiative is being funded by the Re-opening High Streets Safely Fund from the European Regional Development Fund.