Signs installed to encourage footfall in a Southsea street

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INDEPENDENT traders in a small city road are hopeful new signs will help keep business up after a bid for government cash was unsuccessful.

Directional signs have been installed near Castle Road, in Southsea, to encourage footfall to its variety of shops, restaurant and bars.

Castle Road in Southsea during a fete and music extravaganza. Picture: Malcolm Wells (141166-5597)

Castle Road in Southsea during a fete and music extravaganza. Picture: Malcolm Wells (141166-5597)

Steve Courtnell, the founder of Pie and Vinyl in Castle Road, welcomed the signs that were put up by Portsmouth City Council. He said: 'It's fantastic to have the signs there.

'It's well overdue because it's quite a major road now that links the Common to Elm Grove that takes you into the centre of Southsea.'

Council leader, Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, said: 'I am very proud of the number of independent small businesses we have in the city and we want to support them so we can continue to enjoy the diversity they offer.

'I hope the small step of introducing directional signs for Castle Road shops will help more visitors and residents to explore what is on offer there.'

It comes after a bid for up to £2m from government to invest in the street was rejected in September.

Mr Courtnell added: 'Castle Road is definitely now on the map in Portsmouth but with that you get a lot of increased footfall. The money would have helped restore some things in the road and given it a touch up with paint.

'There is a nice community in the road. We all have to pull together, especially at this time when it's tough out there.'

The signs were paid for from the council's local transport plan.