Calls made to reopen seafront road in Portsmouth over traffic 'mayhem'

CALLS to re-open a seafront road in Portsmouth have been made with claims parking nearby has been made 'impossible' with the easing of lockdown.

By Fiona Callingham
Wednesday, 24th June 2020, 4:06 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th June 2020, 4:07 pm
The empty seafront road. Picture Luke Stubbs
The empty seafront road. Picture Luke Stubbs

On May 1 parts of Eastney Esplanade and Clarence Esplanade were closed indefinitely by Portsmouth City Council in a bid to allow pedestrians to social distance and discourage large gatherings.

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Seafront roads to close in Portsmouth

But now Tory city councillor Luke Stubbs has raised concerns over recent parking issues around Southsea and Eastney as more people are driving again.

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Parking 'mayhem' in Eastern Parade as the seafront road remains closed. Picture Luke Stubbs

Cllr Stubbs said: 'The closure of parts of the seafront to traffic has caused mayhem in some neighbouring streets, not least Eastern Parade. A combination of parked cars and high traffic volumes mean it is now difficult to travel the length of the road, with stand-offs being commonplace.

'A temporary closure during the peak of the Covid-19 crisis was one thing, but carrying this on through the summer is quite another. Parking in the area is next to impossible. This cannot go on.

'At a minimum, they need to reopen the Canoe Lane car park. We’ll be hearing soon about how the loss of income is forcing the council to make cuts, yet here we have a perfectly serviceable car park that people want to use and it’s closed.'

It is planned the seafront road closure will be retrospectively funded by part of a government grant, totalling £192,000, and was given the green light to be in place for up to 18 months.

Parking 'mayhem' in Eastern Parade as the seafront road remains closed. Picture Luke Stubbs

However, Portsmouth City Council's traffic boss, Cllr Lynne Stagg, explained the closure was being 'regularly' reviewed.

She said: 'As expected there has been an increase of traffic on Eastern Parade as government restrictions change however it is especially important we keep the seafront closed to provide a safe space for social distancing whilst people are walking and cycling.

'The first tranche of government's emergency active travel fund is designed for the implementation of temporary measures to ensure social distancing and safe cycling and walking.

'The traffic regulation order states the road closure can be in place for up to 18 months however we are regularly reviewing the closures and this will determine the length of the temporary closure .'

The rest of the travel grant is planned to go towards a range of measures including new pop-up bike lanes and pedestrian crossings in the city.

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