Have your say on Portsmouth road closures as council could make car-free zones permanent

ROAD closures set up during the height of the pandemic restrictions could be here to stay.

Friday, 25th June 2021, 2:15 pm
Updated Friday, 25th June 2021, 2:16 pm

Portsmouth City Council is asking residents, businesses, and people travelling through Palmerston Road, Guildhall Walk, Canal Walk and Castle Road to give their thoughts on the road closures in a new survey.

The council closed the four roads to create socially distanced spaces for walking and cycling.

In between lockdowns, some of these places have been used for people to dine outside and meet with friends.

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Social distancing road closures - a thing of the past or here to stay

Roads could be opened to people walking and cycling and closed to cars on a permanent basis.

Initial changes would be made and then funding would be sought for further improvements to create a more pleasant place to live, work and visit.

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Lorraine Randell, a shopowner who runs Revive Interiors on Castle Road, said: ‘I think it’s a good thing to keep the roads closed to traffic.

Castle Road concept

‘I did have my reservations before it was closed, but now it’s a much nicer place to be. I actually think there’s more footfall.

‘It’s safer because the big lorries and traffic are not driving on the pavements, and people are lingering longer on the road. Personally I’m quite in favour of it.’

An option for Castle Road would reduce the flow of traffic whilst allowing access for deliveries at certain times of day. This hybrid approach would include a one-way lane for vehicles from south to north that would exit via Hambrook Street.

Cllr Lynne Stagg, cabinet member for traffic and transportation, said: ‘Opening up Palmerston Road South to businesses to operate outside and restricting vehicles has created a lovely atmosphere and I hope this will remain.

‘However we will only make each of the road closures permanent if this is something the majority of people that live and work in the areas would like to see as it impacts them on a day to day basis.

‘We also want to understand whether residents are gaining the benefit from visiting the areas or using the safer routes.

‘Please take part in the surveys on the council website which will inform the decision being made in September.’

Take part in the survey before July 25 by visiting travel.portsmouth.gov.uk/opinion-survey-road-closures or calling 023 9261 6708 between 9am-4pm, Monday to Friday excluding bank holidays.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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