This is how quiet key roads in Portsmouth were following start of lockdown in 2020

It has been a year since the first lockdown was announced.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 9:49 am

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on March 23, 2020, areas of Portsmouth that were usually bustling with people and road traffic were left looking eerily quite.

Pictures from one year ago show how key roads, including the M27 and A27, were carrying just a handful of vehicles at what would normally be the peak of rush hour.

Other routes, including Portsmouth Road and Northern Road in Cosham, looked eerily quiet in the aerial images captured by drone pilot Mark Cox.

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The A27/M27 motorway, over Cosham, just after 7am on March 24, 2020. Picture: Mark Cox

It came after prime minister Boris Johnson announced the first of three lockdowns - and it meant that Britons could only leave their homes for essential shopping, work which cannot be done at home, exercise once a day or to give or receive care.

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The action in March 2020 was taken after people across the country, including in Southsea and Lee-on-the-Solent, were seen to flout social distancing rules in their hundreds.

Following the lockdown announcement one year ago, Southsea seafront was also looking rather bare as it appeared only to have been visited by people taking up their once-a-day chance for outdoor exercise.

Southsea beach looking quiet on Tuesday, March 24, a day after Boris Johnson announced a national lockdown. Picture: Byron Melton

Portsmouth remains in the midst of a third national lockdown, but measures are starting to be eased – with schools reopening earlier this month.

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An aerial view of Portsmouth Road and the A397 in Cosham, just 8.30am on March 24, 2020. Picture: Mark Cox
Southsea beach looking quiet on Tuesday, March 24, a day after Boris Johnson announced a national lockdown. Picture: Byron Melton
Hundreds of beachgoers were seen to ignore the government's social distancing advice at Southsea beach on Sunday. Picture: Habibur Rahman