MORE THAN 1,000 people have signed a petition calling for the rebuilding of a bridge across a busy city road before ‘someone is killed’.
Businessman Richard Peckham is calling on the city council and the University of Portsmouth to put a bridge in place on Anglesea Road over fears that an accident between a pedestrian and a car is inevitable.
A bridge would remove this fear and prevent the chance of someone being killed.Businessman Richard Peckham
There was a bridge at the site next to Park Road but it was demolished after it was struck by a lorry in 2005.
Now, with a growing number of students and pedestrians using the existing junction to get to the Anglesea Building or to Park Road in order to access Gunwharf Quays, Mr Peckham is calling for action.
Mr Peckham, who lives in Southsea, said: ‘Something must be done before we have an accident there.
‘Recently I was driving down Anglesea Road and the light was green but the filter lane to Gunwharf was red and a student saw the stationary cars, so walked out into my lane with headphones on.
‘I instantly had to slam on the brakes or I would have hit the student. They simply had not looked and assumed the crossing was clear.
‘For the rest of the day, all I could think about was that I was thankful I stopped on time and prevented killing a young student.
‘A bridge would remove this fear and prevent the chance of someone being killed.’
Mr Peckham explained that due to the three sets of traffic lights at the junction, pedestrians who do not know the layout could walk out in front of cars without realising that one of the lights was green.
He said: ‘The filter lane from Park Road means cars come round the bend where no-one can see them and you see people cross without realising and have to stop and go back to the pedestrian island.’
The city council previously looked at building a replacement bridge at the junction two years ago, setting aside £606,000 to do so but this was later scrapped.
Councillor Simon Bosher, the authority’s transport chief, said that the council was planning to redesign the junction early next year to improve safety for pedestrians.
He said: ‘Significant plans are in place to improve safety for people crossing Anglesea Road.
‘Due to an increase in pedestrian usage, the current crossing points need improvements.
‘Wider crossing points will allow more pedestrians and cyclists to cross at one time, and the junction’s new signal phases will reduce waiting times for both traffic and pedestrians. Safety is our primary concern and it is essential that everyone wishing to cross the junction can do so safely.’
The university is planning an ‘estates masterplan’ for the city centre, which would see a series of improvements to buildings across the university quarter to the tune of £400m.
Full proposals are yet to be unveiled but The News previously revealed earlier this summer that it includes the proposed pedestrianising of Hampshire Terrace to improve access for students.
A spokeswoman for the university said: ‘The university is aware that the junction is heavily used by students and we are concerned to ensure a safe crossing route. We recognise there is a need for a solution to protect all pedestrians, including our students. Discussions are ongoing with the council about the options.’
The petition is set to be presented to the city council and has 1,162 signatures. To sign, head to change.org/p/richard-peckham-save-a-life-rebuild-the-bridge-across-anglesea-road-portsmouth.