Safety work on 'Portsmouth's most dangerous road' is step forward but 'more needs to be done'

CITY cyclists have praised new safety improvements along one of the 'most dangerous' roads in Portsmouth but warned they still 'fall short' of what is needed.

By Fiona Callingham
Wednesday, 25th September 2019, 4:56 pm
Cllr Matthew Winnington on one of the altered junctions
Cllr Matthew Winnington on one of the altered junctions

Work to make the A2047 (London Road, Kingston Road and Fratton Road) safer for pedestrians and cyclists has now been completed by Portsmouth City Council.

Its existing cycle path has been extended and ‘enhanced’, and clear bike symbols have been added to sections of the road used by cyclists. A total of 14 raised tables have also been installed at junctions along the road in a bid to slow down cars on their approach.

It comes following data that showed between 2015 and 2018 there were a total of 71 cycle and 31 pedestrian collisions,  25 of which were serious.

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Cllr Matthew Winnington on one of the altered junctions

Councillor Matthew Winnington, the council's health and wellbeing boss, said: ‘Cyclists can be vulnerable to collisions on busy roads such as the A2047 so we are committed to continue to improve our roads for everyone and prevent further casualties.

‘We hope the safety measures we have introduced will help people feel safer cycling along this busy road.’

Raised tables were previously installed along the road in 2017 at 12 junctions including at Powerscourt Road, Chichester Road and Lucknow Street.

Ian Saunders, chairman of the Portsmouth Cycle Forum, which campaigns for cyclist safety, believed an ‘overhaul’ of the city's infrastructure was needed.

‘This still falls short,’ he said. ‘Really what is needed is a big cash investment from government to create a cycle-friendly infrastructure in Portsmouth.

‘That will make it safer for cyclists and encourage others to cycle as well - which will also tackle the air quality problem.’

He added: ‘Anything that makes space for cycling and makes cyclists more visible to drivers is good though. We have to start somewhere.

‘It is the most dangerous road in the city. The junctions along that stretch of road are where most cycle collisions happen. We have to see if that improves now these tables have been put in.

‘Even members of the cycle forum who are experienced cyclists won't go on that road.’

Since April 2018 the council has spent £452,000 on improvement works along the A2047.