Portsmouth City Council scraps plan for Southsea zebra crossing near nursery
PLANS to install a zebra crossing on a Southsea road near a nursery have been abandoned in the face of significant opposition.
Portsmouth City Council's cabinet member for transport had been recommended to approve the new Eastern Parade crossing in a bid to make it safer for pedestrians.
But instead, Councillor Lynne Stagg decided against progressing the project after being told it had been based on ‘flawed’ information.
The crossing would have been between Helena Road and Bruce Road, adjacent to the footpath that leads to Canoe Lake Nursery, the tennis courts and The Rose Gardens.
Eastney and Craneswater ward member John Smith said installing the crossing would be ‘wrong’.
'The need (for the crossing) grew out of the closure of the seafront road during lockdown and the figures used to justify this crossing were taken at the same time,’ he said.
‘Surely any data should've been taken with both roads open?
‘Diverting traffic along Eastern Parade made it a very busy highway and, in turn, a very unpleasant and congested area, particularly at peak season.
‘With the seafront road now open, the associated issues with crossing Eastern Parade have now disappeared.’
The controversial closure of Eastney Esplanade last summer prompted the council to install temporary crossings on Eastern Parade.
These were deemed to be ‘successful’ by the council, prompting plans to be drawn up for a permanent solution.
‘It is important to provide safe pedestrian-priority crossing points on main roads to safeguard those who currently walk and to help encourage additional people to walk,’ a council report said.
It had been proposed that the crossing would be installed this autumn, at the same time as planned resurfacing of the road.
But a consultation held earlier this year attracted more opposition than support.
‘As most of the area is now covered by (residents parking zones), visitor numbers have depleted and residents cross the street from the road they live in,' Cllr Linda Symes said.
‘To use the Helena Road crossing, they would have to cross Festing Road, which is even busier than Eastern Parade.’
And Labour's spokesman for transport, councillor Graham Heaney, said it was ‘very unusual’ for a new crossing to be opposed and that that suggested it had not been properly considered.
As a result, Cllr Stagg went against the recommendation made to her and decided not to approve the crossing.
‘I'm torn because there have been problems with traffic down that road before the seafront road was closed, particularly in summer,’ she said.
‘From a safety point of view, it probably is the only A road in Portsmouth that doesn't have a zebra crossing and I know the difference they can make.’