WALKERS and cyclists are mixed in their reaction to a coastal footpath being shut for nearly a year-and-a-half while flood defence work takes place.
Work at Tipner Lake started in March leaving some users of the route and cycleway complaining of the disruption it has caused.
Pedestrians are now being forced to divert along the adjacent busy Northern Parade –leaving some residents angry about the inconvenience caused as well as the area being turned into an eyesore.
A temporary road through Alexandra Park has also been constructed while work takes place at the site until autumn next year.
Access to Hilsea Lido, Blue Lagoon, South Coast Wakepark and children’s playground will not be affected.
The East Coastal Solent Partnership, which is overseeing the work, said the winter works had been a ‘great success’ after 260 metres of wall, 400 metres of base and the new Lower Wade Way slipway had been constructed.
Portsmouth City Council confirmed work would go on to autumn next year.
Work will now extend to the northern frontage, between Spinnaker Drive and the Lido – leaving some locals unhappy about the disruption and the lack of information telling people about changes.
John Cass, chairman of Stamshaw and Tipner Neighbourhood Forum, said: ‘The sea defence work has caused a great deal of inconvenience to residents. It is strange that only nearby residents have been told about what’s happening – the general public have no idea. For such a major scheme that is unbelievable.
‘They weren’t meant to be doing the work through the winter. They have caused a lot more work now and mucked up the surface. I hope they have enough funds to cover what needs to be done.’
Mr Cass added: ‘There is a lack of transparency from the council with no one telling people what’s going on.’
But other residents had a different view with them believing the work necessary.
‘The only real problem we had was mud on the street from the lorries going down Matapan Road but they’ve now got someone to sweep up the mess every day,’ Robert Parker, of Barham Way said.
‘But we know it is necessary work that needs to be done at some point and that they are being proactive rather than reactive.
‘It could even help with house insurance as it has been difficult to get cover after the area was declared a flood plain.
‘The only other issues we’ve come across are there being more wind coming off the water after they had to remove some of the trees for the work. The geese have not been disturbed as was thought they might be.’
The Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership ran consultation events about the work in February last year and has publicised the project.
However, it had previously said that ‘construction work to improve the coastal flood defences along Tipner Lake, would start in spring 2017 and continue each summer until 2019’ – with no mention of winter-time work.