Transport plans could see a joined up cycle network become a reality in Portsmouth

A FULLY joined-up cycle network across Portsmouth could become a step closer to reality as the council is set to approve its transport recovery plan.

Monday, 6th July 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 6th July 2020, 8:30 am

The new 12-month strategy - which aims to quickly change the way people travel around the city - will be considered at a cabinet meeting next week (wb July 6), as part of the wider 16-year local transport plan that focuses on cycling, walking and public transport.

Some ideas within the recovery plan have already been or are in the process of being implemented as they were fast-tracked during lockdown, such as temporary road closures and low traffic neighbourhoods, using a £214,000 government grant.

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Plans could be lined up to create a joined-up cycle network in Portsmouth

However, with a second government active travel fund - potentially of around £700,000 - up for grabs as well as the need to improve air quality in the city, the year long scheme which includes bike hangars, a park and cycle system and e-scooter hire has come to the fore.

Portsmouth City Council's traffic and transport boss, Councillor Lynne Stagg, said: 'These are all brilliant ideas. These are things that need to be addressed quickly but they are part of a bigger picture.

'At the core of this all is the need to improve air quality, which improves health, as well as encouraging people to be more active that also improves health.'

It comes after some city groups voiced their disappointment that plans for a new cycle lane along Eastern Road were recently scrapped.

But Cllr Stagg added: 'Ultimately we want to join up roads so get a network cycling and walking roads. This will mean looking at where we have cycle lanes and where there's a gap between them to join them up.

'It's also about looking at two basic types of roads. There are the commuter roads used by the confident cyclists every day and then the quieter roads that perhaps zig-zag across the city. These are used by less confident or leisure cyclists - like families who don't necessarily want to whizz down a busy road.'

A spokesman for Pompey Street Space, which has been campaigning for a walking and cycling network in the city, said: 'We welcome some of these ideas and intentions. However, given the degree of air pollution, congestion and road danger there is in Portsmouth we feel they don't go far enough.

'In addition to this the council declared a climate emergency last year.

'With carbon emissions from transport now 37 per cent of the city total, much more radical thinking is needed to get up to net zero by 2030.

'We want to work with the council to transform Portsmouth and it's clear that a cross party consensus is the only way to secure a sustainable future and stop measures like road closures being used as political football.'

The plans will be considered by cabinet on July 14.

Specific ideas within both the transport recovery plan and local transport plan will need to be consulted on before being implemented. It is thought funding for both plans will come from a mix of government grants and council cash.

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