Proposal unveiled for contraflow cycle lane along Southsea Common as latest sea defence plans go on display

An artist's impression of the eastbound, contraflow cycle lane which could run between Southsea Common and a westbound, single carriageway on Clarence Esplanade
An artist's impression of the eastbound, contraflow cycle lane which could run between Southsea Common and a westbound, single carriageway on Clarence Esplanade
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A PROPOSAL for a contra-flow cycle lane which would run alongside the seafront was unveiled yesterday as the latest plans for the city’s sea defences went on display.

The measure would see cyclists travel eastbound in their own lane alongside one carriageway of westbound traffic on Clarence Esplanade, next to Southsea Common.

An artist's impression of the contraflow cycle lane which could run between Southsea Common and a single carriageway on Clarence Esplanade

An artist's impression of the contraflow cycle lane which could run between Southsea Common and a single carriageway on Clarence Esplanade

It was introduced among the designs for the Southsea Coastal Scheme off the back of feedback received at public consultations in February. 

Another exhibition session took place at Lumps Fort in Southsea yesterday, with a planning application for the whole project, which would aim to protect the coastline from Old Portsmouth to Eastney from erosion, due to be lodged next month. 

Mo Amin, who lives in Southsea, hopes the lane could not only benefit cyclists, but people walking along the promenade too. 

‘Anything is better than now, because at the minute the prom is the cycle lane and that’s dangerous,' the 63-year-old said. 

Sacha Neill, coastal engineer for Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership, at the drop-in session at Lumps Fort, Southsea, on Monday. Picture: Sarah Standing (270519-392)

Sacha Neill, coastal engineer for Eastern Solent Coastal Partnership, at the drop-in session at Lumps Fort, Southsea, on Monday. Picture: Sarah Standing (270519-392)

‘I would say with a dedicated lane going along the sea front, it’ll make a more pleasant environment for both cyclists and pedestrians.’

Jessica Akamune-Miles, also from Southsea, said the measure could even draw attention to the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, which faces the Solent from its spot on the Common. 

‘It's better to have a cycle lane on the memorial side than a lane of eastbound traffic because not only could it potentially slow cars down there, it might encourage more people to cross the road and go and see the monument itself,' she said. 

‘I know at the moment some people don’t like crossing that road because of the traffic, even though walking via the monument can be a sort of shortcut back to central Southsea.

Julie Thompson and John Luxford, from Eastney, look at the latest Southsea Coastal Scheme Plans at Monday's public drop-in session at Lumps Fort. Picture: Sarah Standing (270519-388)

Julie Thompson and John Luxford, from Eastney, look at the latest Southsea Coastal Scheme Plans at Monday's public drop-in session at Lumps Fort. Picture: Sarah Standing (270519-388)

‘Hopefully this could change that, because it is an amazing landmark.’ 

Lesley Riley from Eastney, however, was dubious about the proposal. 

‘Most cyclists now tend to go on the prom so I think there’s still a question mark over whether this lane would get used,' the 73-year-old said.

‘Obviously I hope it will, but I’m not convinced.' 

Robert Johnson, communication and engagement officer at Portsmouth City Council with Harry Allaway from Farlington, at the public drop-in session for the Southsea Coastal Scheme, at Lumps Fort, on Monday. Picture: Sarah Standing (270519-382)

Robert Johnson, communication and engagement officer at Portsmouth City Council with Harry Allaway from Farlington, at the public drop-in session for the Southsea Coastal Scheme, at Lumps Fort, on Monday. Picture: Sarah Standing (270519-382)

As previously reported, the Southsea Coastal Scheme also proposes new defences at Long Curtain Moat, Clarence Pier, Southsea Castle, the Pyramids Centre, South Parade Pier and Canoe Lake. 

The measures will be put in place to protect more than 8,000 homes and 700 businesses. 

The exhibition at Lumps Fort will run daily from 10am to 4pm until Sunday.

Drop-in sessions will also take place at Southsea Library on Wednesday, between 1pm and 4pm and at Eastney Community Centre on Friday, between 1pm and 4pm.