Urgent plea to back struggling Portsmouth restaurants faced with Covid closure threat

WORRIED city leaders are calling on people to get behind struggling restaurants in a desperate bid to save jobs to stem the flow of city-wide closures.

By Tom Cotterill
Thursday, 20th August 2020, 11:00 pm
Updated Friday, 21st August 2020, 9:52 am

Portsmouth culture boss Councillor Steve Pitt has insisted it is ‘more important than ever’ to support city businesses left crippled by the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

The senior Lib Dem politician is now urging residents to take advantage of a newly-overhauled Southsea street, which has closed to traffic to allow visitors to eat outside.

The southern end of Palmerston Road has been sealed off to traffic under Covid-19 legislation, to offer restaurants and bars more space to accommodate customers safely, while still adhering to social distancing rules.

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Palmerston Road pedestrianisation: Works begin to temporarily pedestrianise the southern end of Palmerston Road, Southsea, to allow for social distancing and a 'continental' style of dining to help businesses recover from the economic blow of the coronavirus. Picture: Byron Melton

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Cllr Pitt said there has been ‘positive feedback’ from businesses at ‘how well’ the scheme had been working so far.

But he warned: ‘Sadly we are starting to hear that some hospitality venues in the city are closing. It is therefore more important than ever that we support businesses where we are able and that you eat out locally if you can.

‘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 scheme was installed last Friday and there was a slight change to the original plan as the bollards needed to be installed by Meat and Barrel instead of by Wild Thyme.

Palmerston Road South is now closed from its junction with Villiers Road to Osborne Road, except for deliveries prior to 11am.

Extra signage has been installed in Auckland Road to further alert vehicles to the closure.

Residents and businesses can report any concerns to the council’s business support team on 023 9284 1641.

This work has been funded by the Re-opening High Streets Safely Fund from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Keep up to date with the latest coronavirus news in Portsmouth with our Coronavirus Updates Facebook group.

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