The worst roads in Portsmouth and Hampshire - according to our readers

FROM traffic to parking problems, we all have our gripes about the roads we live in.

Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 5:01 pm
Idsworth Road in Baffins. Picture: David George

But some streets stand out as being significantly worse than others, and are in desperate need of some professional attention.

We asked readers to tell us what they think are the worst streets in Portsmouth and the surrounding area – then went out to ask those who live there what they make of it.

Idsworth Road, Baffins

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Grove Road North in Southsea. Picture: David George

Idsworth Road in Baffins is perhaps the worst road in the entire city.

As soon as you turn into the street you are greeted by a string of potholes, some as long as 30cm, on both sides of the road.

For residents, the road presents a major risk to the condition of their vehicles – and many are calling for the entire street to be resurfaced as a matter of urgency.

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Stubbington Avenue in North End. Picture: David George

Hayley White, 35, said: ‘Your eyes are drawn to the potholes the moment you pull into the road, and they are so dangerous.

‘I was riding my bike down here the other day and was having to swerve all over the place to avoid them.

‘I’ve lived here for just over a year now, and have never seen any sort of major road repairs taking place. We’re now at a point where the whole street needs sorting out, and it will take much longer than a few days.’

Fellow resident Sarah Taylor, 48, added: ‘It’s awful. That’s the only way I can describe it.

Laburnum Grove in North End. Picture: David George

‘When the council does come down, they do a little bit and then that’s that – even though there’s dozens of other potholes that need attention.

‘I’ve lived here for 20 years and I’ve never seen a complete resurfacing of the road. I know the council are doing some roads now, but if they’re doing it based on how urgently the streets need it, I would have thought we would be at the top of the pile.’

Grove Road North, Southsea

While the adjacent Elm Grove is a smooth, pleasant road to drive down, motorists fear that Grove Road North may have been forgotten about by the council.

Bramdean Drive in Leigh Park. Picture: David George

Cracked, patchy and bumpy, the street has seen some council attention with potholes being filled – but some believe the council needs to go further.

Keith Harper, 65, said: 'I'm glad the parking is just on one side of the road, otherwise it would be too narrow to drive down.

'But the road is very patchy and there's quite a few holes in it too, like at the edges of the road.

'If the whole road was resurfaced it would be much easier on our cars, and it wouldn't be the end of the world for the council to close it for a week or so while the work is done.'

One resident, who wished to remain anonymous, added: ‘The street itself is alright because cars are only parked on one side, but it doesn’t feel great to drive down.

‘The council has patched a few bits up but the road has cracked quite a lot – especially at the junctions where people are turning in and out all the time.’

Bishopsfield Road in Fareham. Picture: David George

Responding to the concerns, Cllr Lynne Stagg said: ‘We will pass the information about the potholes onto our maintenance partner Colas for them to review and take appropriate action.

‘To ensure any concerns about the roads are addressed quickly, I would encourage residents to report them via the council website.’

To file a report to the council, people can go to portsmouth.gov.uk/all-tasks/report.

Stubbington Avenue, North End

As one of the main roads connecting North End to Copnor, it’s not unsurprising that Stubbington Avenue sees so much traffic on a daily basis.

Throughout the day, the cars parked on either side of the road mean drivers have to queue to let one another by, creating congestion at all hours.

For those who live on the road, it’s even harder to get their cars onto the road – regardless of whether they’re parked on the street or not.

Lee Marsh, 42, said: 'This is definitely one of the worst roads in Portsmouth - not in terms of potholes but actually driving down here.

'It's a pain in the neck, everyone thinks they have right of way and wants to drive as fast as they can. It's downright dangerous.

'A one-way system would be a good idea, but you would still get the aggressive drivers. Some traffic lights would slow people down though, so maybe that's the answer.'

Christine Ashley, 72, said: 'The problem with Stubbington Avenue is how busy it is.

'There are vans parked on both sides of the road and it makes it a nightmare to drive through - and that's before you get to the selfish drivers trying to fly past the other way.

'We've paid to have a driveway but it's still so dangerous to get out, with cars queueing up all day long.

‘When the Covid-19 lockdowns hit, this place was so quiet, and you could cross the road on foot safely too. I miss that.’

Laburnum Grove, North End

Running parallel to Stubbington Avenue, Laburnum Grove was highlighted by readers of The News as a troublesome road in North End.

With how busy Stubbington Avenue can get, some motorists instead cut through Laburnum Grove to escape the heavy traffic.

But residents in the road itself say that isn’t the biggest problem faced on a daily basis.

Krispin Kane, 47, said: 'We have the same problem as Stubbington Avenue, which is parking. People park up here for free to do their shopping in North End.

'In my opinion, the only solution is permit parking - that way the people who actually live here will be able to park here again.'

Natalie Legg, 40, said: 'I've only lived here since October but it doesn't seem too bad - to say it's one of the worst in Portsmouth is probably a stretch.

'Sometimes it's a bit tough to park but I think that's just normal for a city like Portsmouth. Aside from that I've never had any trouble down here.'

Portsmouth City Council says it will take on board resident feedback for both Laburnum Grove and Stubbington Avenue.

Cabinet member for traffic and transportation, Cllr Lynne Stagg, said: ‘We appreciate that traffic congestion can be a concern to communities and we are keen to work with residents to address those concerns.

‘These roads have not previously been considered in detail for making into one ways however these comments from the community will be put forward as we consider priorities for the city.’

Bramdean Drive, Leigh Park

With an abundance of potholes, cracks and bumps in the road, Bramdean Drive is one of the worst roads to drive through in Leigh Park.

The street, which connects Botley Drive and Dunsbury Way, has developed a reputation among residents for being used as a rat-run, both by parents taking their children to school and by delivery drivers in their lorries.

Julie Barsack, 45, has lived in the road for 10 years. She said: ‘'When you drive through here you're constantly swerving to avoid potholes and cracks in the road - it's such an uneven surface.

'The council come down quite a lot to fill the potholes, but two or three days later it's back to being the way it was.

'The buses don't help, and where it's used for school runs too the road takes a real battering. Rather than just patching up, the road needs digging up and completely resurfacing.'

For Paul Weaver, 41, the problems go even further than that.

He said: 'The vibrations as people drive through this road have actually cracked the foundations in our house.

'That's all because of the potholes and cracks in the road, it's awful.

'I think the whole road needs to be resurfaced, there's no other solution.

'The council has done loads of work to other roads around here, so I don't understand why we've been neglected.'

Hampshire County Council’s executive member for highways operations, Cllr Russell Oppenheimer, said: ‘We are always grateful to receive reports of highway issues from residents, via our online reporting system, so that we can inspect, prioritise and programme repairs accordingly.’

Bishopsfield Road, Fareham

The construction of the Stubbington Bypass has caused a serious level of damage to Bishopsfield Road.

Hampshire County Council’s work on Stubbington Bypass has led to a series of road closures in the surrounding area over the past couple of years.

Specifically, residents believe the closure of Peak Lane has heavily damaged the road, with more vehicles using it than before.

Troy Butler, 75, said: ‘There are a lot of bumps and cracks in the road. I don’t know what’s caused it but we do have a lot of lorries coming down here, ever since they closed Peak Lane for the Stubbington Bypass work.

‘You can see from how patchy the road is that the council does fill in the individual holes and cracks, but to be honest the whole road needs resurfacing. The council did that in Redlands Lane nearby and that road is excellent now.’

Phil Lever, 74, added: ‘Put simply, this road wasn’t designed for this volume of traffic, and there are parts of the road starting to collapse.

‘You have the buses and regular traffic, then you also have the lorries using it because Peak Lane is closed, and the construction vehicles for the Stubbington Bypass.

‘When Redlands Lane was also closed for resurfacing, it was total pandemonium along here.’

Hampshire County Council’s executive member for highways operations, Cllr Russell Oppenheimer, said: ‘Looking after Hampshire’s network of over 5,500 miles of public highway is a key priority for Hampshire County Council but it is becoming increasingly challenging.’

Little Anglesey Road, Gosport

Residents living in Little Anglesey Road were initially surprised to hear that their road had been listed by readers.

The road surface itself is smooth and, running alongside Alverstoke Creek, is in a picturesque location.

But the issues that plague this road are twofold – with heavy traffic on weekends and a big problem with flooding.

At high tide, the road floods entirely, making it impossible to use the road.

Sheila Thornay, 70, said: ‘On the weekends you have cars parked up on both sides of the road, and so it’s difficult for people to get cars through.

‘There also aren’t any pavements – aside from a little strip at the end of the road – so the families are all walking in the road too.

‘In my opinion the solution would be making people pay for parking. It’s free at the moment and that’s where the problems come from.’

Neighbour John Theodosiou added: ‘I must say, it is nice to see people enjoying the lake.

‘But at the moment, people are entitled to park wherever they want and that does become an issue.

‘Apparently the council is planning to designate the gravel as a beach, and therefore pass a by-law to ban parking on that side.

‘But I am surprised readers picked Little Anglesey Road as one of the worst in the area.’

Cllr Russell Oppenheimer said: ‘We continue to work hard to keep our network in as good a condition as possible and in the past year, we have completed £50m of major road, transport infrastructure and safety improvement schemes, as well as 478 planned highway maintenance schemes.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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Little Anglesey Road in Gosport. Picture: David George