'Frustrated' residents lobby for Southsea seafront road to reopen after a spate of accidents

THE partial closure of a seafront road in Southsea is contributing to car collisions across the area as surrounding roads take on ‘nightmare’ congestion, frustrated residents have claimed.

Monday, 10th August 2020, 5:48 pm
Updated Tuesday, 11th August 2020, 10:13 am

Parts of 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 on May 1.

But residents say it has caused dangerous levels of congestion on surrounding roads.

Now they are lobbying for the council to address the issue, with more than 90 residents meeting to discuss their frustrations last Wednesday.

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Damage caused by a delivery lorry attempting to navigate congestion on St Helens Parade. Picture: Mark Trapani

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St Helen’s Parade resident and businessman Mark Trapani is calling on the council to act after a lorry making a delivery scraped along his Mercedes Benz Vito Sport whilst trying to navigate the busy road last month.

Mark said: ‘My car has been in the garage for six weeks due to the damage.

(The lorry) couldn’t manoeuvre properly because there was so much traffic on the road.

Road closure on Eastney Esplanade on 5 March 2020 Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘I would say the traffic has increased fourfold. It’s become a nightmare.’

It is ‘a matter of time’ before a more serious accident occurs, according to Mark.

He said: ‘I cannot cross the road – it’s taking your life in your own

Traffic along Eastern Parade has increased with the closure of the seafront road, residents claimed. Picture: Piers Gorman

‘I’m worried that someone will be seriously hurt before long.’

A resident of Kimberly Road said reports of smashed wing mirrors and car collisions had become more common since the road closure.

Piers Gorman said: ‘Residents are very frustrated.

‘It’s just passing (congestion) to Eastern Parade.

‘The biggest problem we have got is that no one can understand the logic behind it.’

But others support the council’s decision – saying it is an opportunity to rethink the road system to address Portsmouth’s pollution levels.

Nick Sebley, a resident of the Osborne Road area and a member of the Portsmouth Climate Action Board, said: ‘In general the council was right to close the road.

‘They need to think how they can keep this change without causing traffic displacement.

‘With safer roads and more cycling and pedestrians, there would be less traffic.’

The council has announced it will ‘investigate’ a change to the eastern end seafront road closure, with the intention of easing traffic on Eastern Parade.

A residents’ meeting to discuss the road closure is planned for 6.30pm tonight outside The Tenth Hole.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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