Potholes shouldn't be the price for living in an historic city | Emma Kay

Considerable deterioration and distortion are words that have been used to describe Portsmouth’s shockingly unsuitable roads.

Wednesday, 11th August 2021, 7:41 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th August 2021, 7:41 pm
Potholes - the scourge of motorists everywhere

Sadly, they are words that have been used for a while. A good while in fact.

Wibbly-wobbly worn out thoroughfares, resembling an unflattering battlefield of potholes that look more like the moon’s cratered surface than a road in dire need of love and care.

The potholes in Kenyon Road are only one such example. It may only be a city side road, nevertheless it is a busy road, but the potholes are in shocking abundance. Driving a car over these dangerous dips in the road causes a far from pleasant, shaky experience. Woe betide anyone suffering with a bad back.

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Furthermore, the damage to shock absorbers and tyres from continually having to drive over such an uneven surface has been excessive to say the least for our local drivers and residents.

Cycling over them is worse still as they are a certified hazard not only for your bike but also your body should you take a tumble. I have lost count of times I have seen cars bumping about like metal bullfrogs as they try to manoeuvre unsuccessfully along such roads.

The council may well be focusing on the busier main roads, which is understandable, with the commercial input they have on our ferries and frigates, but what of all the side roads that are equally well travelled upon.

Kenyon Road is such a road. It is used every day by hundreds of home owners, commuters and parents dropping off their children at nearby schools. It may not be tourist-travelled but it is a frequently used road.

Of course, we all have eyes and ears. We see and hear and know about how Portsmouth is dripping with a history that just cannot be matched by other cities.

We live and breathe our magnificent history every day and beneath our feet the story of Portsmouth over the centuries has been constructed as a town, and later a city, that has been built on again and again and again and is now barely holding at the seams.

We know this so it would appear that we just accept that some parts are noticeably shabby. Noticeably unsafe!

But this just perpetrates Portsmouth as being in some kind of historical bubble rather than somewhere that is lived in and loved beyond its history.

Wear and tear in a city such as ours with such a rich and vibrant history is normal, but the potholes in Kenyon Road and so many other similar roads in and about Portsmouth have been here long enough. The time has come to patch up the holes.

We need to wise up about water

The number of accidental drownings this year are double the normally expected numbers for a summer in the UK.

The fun of dipping into the water has turned into an all too familiar tragedy. Last month alone saw 34 people drowning. A significant proportion of these are children.

Less foreign holidays may be a cause along with more people using open water areas like lakes, canals, reservoirs and quarries which are ill-designed for casual swimming, lacking any kind of lifeguard safety which can mean the difference between life and death. They are deceptively deep with water levels moving from tread to dread in a heartbeat.

Swimming is also only in the national curriculum at primary school level but with Lockdown these precious lessons have been reduced further.

The heatwave predicted for later this month is likely to see even more tragedy unless we wise up about water.

Thank you to those who still mask up

Traversing trains again comes with its own heightened anxiety. You become much more aware of the peril of people. You begin to relearn that they are in fact, everywhere. In a precarious pandemic world, it is easy to be troubled by this.

To my surprise, the majority were masked up in the carriages. It gave me some hope for humanity and showed me people still have a spoonful of sense rattling around in their heads.

Do people treat the pandemic in the same intense manner as they did during the early days of lockdown? Probably not. But the gesture to mask up means something. It shows consideration. It demonstrates respect and a desire to do the best they can in the circumstances presented.

We do not thank ourselves as often as we should for still adhering to the rules. If you still mask up, you are still fighting and we could not ask for more.

A message from the editor, Mark Waldron.

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