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The decision to put barricades up at South Parade Pier will be viewed by some as just the latest in a long line of setbacks in its recent history.

While most people long for the pier to be the seafront attraction Portsmouth needs and deserves, plans for its much-needed redevelopment have been a long time in coming.

And now those who have stayed loyal will find it blocked off to all those who want to enjoy the very thing these structures were intended for – a leisurely stroll.

The glorious weather we’ve been enjoying is exactly the sort of thing needed to draw people to this part of the seafront, so imagine their surprise when they found a seven ft fence had gone up.

If you want to take a walk along this particular pier you will now find staff in place to halt you in your tracks. It’s hardly the kind of friendly welcome visitors will be looking for.

Of course, what makes this decision even harder to understand is that not everyone has been prevented from going on the pier.

If you’re a fisherman, the health and safety concerns that the owners are so worried about no longer appear to be an issue.

There will be many people who simply don’t understand the rationale behind that. Surely the pier is either safe for all, or unsafe for everyone?

We are pleased to hear the owner, Fred Nash, insist that this is only a temporary measure. But we question the wisdom of having a barrier like this in place in the lead up to summer.

While we understand that the fence has been up for a while, it’s only now that the weather has turned nice that people will want to make the most of what the pier has to offer.

Although the arcade remains open, it’s natural that people should want to be outside when the sun is shining.

So we urge Mr Nash to get on with making the necessary repairs. The central building area which he insists makes it unsafe for pedestrians, but okay for anglers, must be dealt with so the barricades can be lifted.

Right now, Southsea needs its pier open and ready for business.