REVIEW OF THE YEAR: September 2017

Traffic congestion caused a breach of pollution levels in London Road, Portsmouth
Traffic congestion caused a breach of pollution levels in London Road, Portsmouth

Portsmouth coastguard called to reports of a body near Chichester

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We take a look back through The News archives over what has been another exciting year

A Gosport veteran watched history in the making when the new HMS Prince of Wales aircraft carrier was named.

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt led calls for Boris Bikes for the city

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt led calls for Boris Bikes for the city

Chris Peacey, 93, was one of three survivors who watched the original HMS Prince of Wales bombed by Japanese bombers in the Second World War. In September, he was given front seat at the naming ceremony of the new 65,000 tonne aircraft carrier.

Speaking to The News, Mr Peacey said: ‘I never thought I would live to see the day another ship was named HMS Prince of Wales.

‘There aren’t many survivors of the original battleship. I’m very proud to see the new ship.’

Thousands backed the medal appeal for commandos who fought in the Falklands.

Support grew for formal honours for the courage shown by the armed forces in Falklands

Support grew for formal honours for the courage shown by the armed forces in Falklands

Sixty brave men of naval party 8901 risked their lives to defend Port Stanley from an armada of thousands, however their efforts remained a secret until they were published this year. It had sparked a petition, which had collected 3,500 signatures and the blessing of those who lived on the island when it was invaded. Among the men defending was Sergeant Mark Gibbs, who was born in Portsmouth and was 22 when he fought in the war. He said: ‘It was terrifying. We all thought we were going to die. So being recognised for our efforts means the world to us.’

A Portsmouth MP made a call to boost cycling numbers across the city.

Penny Mordaunt, Portsmouth North MP, looked to bring forward a ‘Boris Bike’ scheme to transform Portsmouth into a cycling city. She said: ‘We need a number of schemes to help people use alternatives to their cars.

‘With the help of colleagues and transport experts, I’ve been looking at whether a Boris bike scheme would work for Portsmouth.’

Veteran Chris Peacey was guest of honour at the naming ceremony of aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales

Veteran Chris Peacey was guest of honour at the naming ceremony of aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales

Portsmouth City Council said it was looking at a number of possibilities to introduce a similar community-hire scheme that could launch next year.

An arsonist who set light to his flat, causing families to flee in terror, was jailed.

Peter Arrandale, 60, caused Handsworth House, Somers Town, to be evacuated and also was responsible five people being hospitalised.

Three experienced firefighters suffered heat exhaustion and the blaze caused around £43,425 in damages.

The court heard that Arrandale was depressed at the time, but no further reason was given about why he set the blaze. He was jailed for six years.

One of Portsmouth’s busiest roads was breaching targets for pollution, a September report revealed.

London Road, which runs into Kingston Road and Fratton Road, was found to be in major trouble as it was blamed for high levels of pollution due to traffic congestion.

Levels of nitrogen dioxide along London Road were found to be breaching the national target over the course of the year. Councillor Robert New told The News: ‘Air quality is an issue of utmost importance and the council works hard to improve the situation.

‘London Road is one area where we need significant improvement but it is important that we look for solutions that will work across the whole city.