CONCERNS have been raised that removing a crossing from a busy city junction may make the area more dangerous.
Portsmouth City Council is preparing to discard a crossing on the Victoria Park side of the Anglesea Road and Park Road junction, the north side.
It says this will improve safety as that crossing is narrow, compared to the staggered crossing with a traffic island on the south side of the junction.
But with large numbers of students crossing from that side of the road from accommodation blocks, the university has said that while it welcomes the improvements on the south, it thinks that the north side crossing should remain.
Many pedestrians use the existing junction to get to the Anglesea Building or to Park Road to walk to Gunwharf Quays.
There have been calls to rebuild a bridge at that spot – one used to stand there but was demolished after it was struck by a lorry in 2005.
The university’s vice chancellor, professor Graham Galbraith, said: ‘The safety of the crossings at Anglesea Road and Park Road junction have been an area of significant concern for the university for a number of years so we are pleased that the city council plans to improve the junction.
‘The university believes a crossing on the north side of the junction may be important for safety as it would follow the natural “desire lines” of pedestrians crossing the road.
‘We have developed and shared proposals for an improved north-side crossing but the council does not believe that these ideas are feasible at this time.
‘We have engaged in a constructive dialogue with the city council about their proposals.
‘We are pleased they have agreed to monitor the impact of the new junction changes on pedestrian safety and to consider further changes if they prove necessary in the future.’
A council statement said: ‘The council will begin work to improve the junction of Anglesea Road and Park Road next month, enhancing the crossing facilities to the south and removing the narrow crossing to the north.
‘The existing crossing point at the south of the junction will be widened to make waiting and crossing safer. New signal phasing and removing the left-hand turn into Park Road will reduce waiting times for pedestrians, enable them to cross the road in one go, and improve the flow of traffic.’
Martin Lavers, assistant director of the project, added: ‘The current layout is no longer suitable for the high volume of pedestrians and vehicles it serves.
‘By reducing waiting times and widening crossing points the crossing becomes safer for pedestrians, while removing the left turn provides two dedicated lanes out of the city and improves the flow of traffic.’