THIS WEEK IN 1972: Inquiry hears of plans to give Commercial Road a boost

The scene in Commercial Road at the junction with Edinburgh Road
The scene in Commercial Road at the junction with Edinburgh Road
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The Commercial Road shopping centre was to become the focal point of a new road system in Portsmouth, Freddie Emery-Wallis, the chairman of Portsmouth development and estates committee, said at an inquiry.

The inquiry was into Portsmouth Corporation’s proposals to make Commercial Road a pedestrian precinct between Arundel Street and a point 45-feet south of Meadow Street for a six-month experimental period.

Ald Emery-Wallis told the ministry inspector, JN Taylor, that the growth in population and vastly improved road communications led to a substantial increase in potential custom for the shops and businesses in Commercial Road.

‘We believe, however, that this business potential will be affected by the degree of comfort, amenity, and convenience which the centre is able to provide for shoppers.’

He said the council wanted to ensure customers would be attracted not only by fast communications and ease of access, but also by a pleasant environment which avoided conflict in the streets between vehicles and pedestrians.

The council was also proposing to expand Cosham shopping centre.