Council under fire over shingle on Southsea promenade

Pat Huxtable near South Parade pier where there are stones on the path''Picture: Paul Jacobs (142957-1)
Pat Huxtable near South Parade pier where there are stones on the path''Picture: Paul Jacobs (142957-1)
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SHINGLE spilling over on the seafront promenade is causing a headache for walkers according to one Southsea resident.

Pat Huxtable, 61, has called on Portsmouth City Council to finally have the prom cleared of the stones, which she said extend for ‘a good 75 yards’ west of South Parade Pier.

Mrs Huxtable, who lives in Nettlestone Road and walks along the seafront every day, said she was frustrated the shingle was allowed to spoil what should be a usable public footpath.

She said: ‘I cannot understand and neither can a lot of people with whom I have spoken that no-one has thought to move the stones back from the promenade.

‘We should have full access to the promenade and to make that happen would be very simple.’

Mrs Huxtable said the stones had been there for months, echoing a problem last winter when shingle totally washed over the prom after heavy storms, forcing the area to be shut off.

She said: ‘Last winter we had the beach road shut off for two or three weeks. It’s too boring and ridiculous.’

Mrs Huxtable said she had seen teams of men sweeping the shingle off the prom.

She said using a street-cleaning vehicle would be faster and less work.

‘I’ve been told that you can actually hire a vehicle and have it all cleared off in one go.

‘Perhaps the council should try that.’

Portsmouth City Council seafront manager David Evans said shingle coming on to the promenade was a natural occurrence which his team did their best to manage.

He said: ‘The beach has to be kept at a certain height for coastal protection but over time the tide and wind will push stones further and further up the beach.

‘This becomes more of an issue in bad weather and we arrange clean-ups as and when they are needed, as with anything that affects people’s safety or access being done urgently.’

Mr Evans said the council was planning to use equipment to push the stones back below the prom.

He said: ‘As with anything we have to consider what will be the best use of public funds and sometimes it is better to wait for things to build up a bit rather than waste money clearing a small amount of shingle when it will simply return the next day.’