CAMPAIGNERS have scored a victory after a sign that wrongly told people a busy road was traffic-free has finally been removed.
For years a blue sign at the bottom of Twyford Avenue, Tipner, told pedestrians and cyclists they could pick up the Pilgrims’ Trail into Portsmouth via an alley off the road.
There have been two near incidents recently involving people with pushchairsSteve New, director of Tipner Regeneration Company
The sign said the route wasn’t used by any vehicles – yet heavy traffic moves through it every day to reach industrial land west of Tipner.
The council says the sign was put there because part of the trail, on the other side of the alley, isn’t used by vehicles.
But following concerns that someone could get hurt if the sign wasn’t removed, Portsmouth City Council has decided to take it down.
John Cass, chairman of Stamshaw and Tipner Neighbourhood Forum, said he couldn’t believe it had taken so long.
He said: ‘It’s been brought to the council’s attention a number of times, but no-one had done anything about it.
‘I brought it up at forum meetings as I wanted to know who would be responsible if anyone was injured.
‘It’s a relief.
‘It’s not going to stop people riding down that road on their bikes, but at least there is no sign up there now saying the road is traffic-free.’
Steve New, director of Tipner Regeneration Company, which has planning permission to build hundreds of new homes in Tipner east, took a picture from his car showing how close lorries came to the cycle path and how much of the road they take up.
He said: ‘There have been two near incidents recently involving people with pushchairs. This is something that should have been sorted out a long time ago.
‘A cyclist could have been killed, quite easily.
‘If this had been on my desk to sort out, I would have got it done right away.
‘The cycle lane is still there and it gives people a false sense of security.’
Alan Cufley, the council’s director for transport, said: ‘A two-mile section of the Pilgrims Trail is a traffic-free route into Portsmouth city centre and is popular with cyclists and pedestrians.
‘The sign was to direct people towards this route, but following concerns it was unclear, it has been removed.
‘We’re sorry for any confusion and will be putting up a more suitable sign in due course.’