THIS WEEK IN 1994: Bid to clear Portsmouth city centre of drinkers wins support

Drinkers in Commercial Road, Portsmouth
Drinkers in Commercial Road, Portsmouth
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Portsmouth shoppers and traders welcomed a move to clear the streets of abusive drinkers.

The city council was to consider plans to bar drinking in Commercial and Albert roads.

Many shoppers said they had been plagued by drinkers who regularly met at the busy shopping centres.

But others expressed concerns that such a ban was an infringement of civil liberties.

Traders believed the drinkers’ presence scared off potential customers and wrote to Portsmouth South MP David Martin and lobbied the council in protest.

Michael Major, the manager of Cascades, in Commercial Road, said: ‘I really want some action on this.

‘We have put up with these people for long enough.’

Up to 40 drinkers had been reported in the area.

Betty Springett, aged 56, of Copnor, said: ‘I’m all for them going.

‘They bring the tone of the area down.’

But 18-year-old student Nick Billings, of Southsea, said he was worried such a ban would mean he would be fined for drinking a cold beer on a hot day.

Labour city and county councillor Mark Hancock backed the drink ban.