Portsmouth's first ever rainbow crossing installed to celebrate LGBTQ+ community
THE city's first ever rainbow crossing has been created to celebrate Portsmouth's LGBTQ+ community.
A regular pedestrian crossing along Duisberg Way, in Southsea, has been transformed with the 'eye catching' design.
Portsmouth City Council's deputy leader and culture boss, Councillor Steve Pitt, hoped it will represent Portsmouth is a welcoming and safe city for everyone.
He said: 'We wanted to create a fun and visible expression of solidarity with the Portsmouth's LGBTQ+ community as one way of demonstrating that Portsmouth welcomes and celebrates all people with pride.
'We hope it will bring a smile to everyone who sees and crosses it.'
The new crossing has been welcomed by Portsmouth Pride, which began hosting an annual event in the city in 2017.
A planned Pride event for the summer this year was scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, a digital event including drag acts, cabaret, music artists and DJs was held on June 20.
Georgia Alston, from Portsmouth Pride, said: 'It's fantastic to have such a bold statement of support for the city's LGBTQ+ community in one of the most popular spots in Portsmouth.
'Our local Pride movement is growing all the time so it's great to have an eye-catching display of unity in our city for all to see.'
The rainbow crossing was created for free by Colas, Portsmouth City Council's highway maintenance partner, and completed on July 24.
Business unit manager for Colas, Ray Muscat, said: 'It's great to see the new Pride road crossing in action and it was our pleasure to install it. The striking multi-colour crossing is a fun way for pedestrians to celebrate the Pride movement.
'We're pleased that Portsmouth is one of the first cities in the UK to fit a rainbow crossing and we hope more will follow suit.'
It comes after members of the city council unanimously agreed to challenge transphobic behaviour in Portsmouth during a full council meeting this week.
As part of the motion it was also planned party leaders would write to government in support of reforms for the Gender Recognition Act.