ONE of Portsmouth’s busiest roads will gain a cycle lane and lose unrestricted parking, after the city council agreed to spend cash from a supermarket deal.
At a Portsmouth City Council meeting yesterday, cabinet member for traffic and transport Cllr Ken Ellcome agreed to spend £40,000 given to the authority by Tesco, as part of the deal to build a large store in Fratton Way.
It will pay for a cycle lane on the north side of Goldsmith Avenue, Southsea, so there is a bike route for the whole stretch of that road.
At the same meeting, Cllr Ellcome agreed to bring in a hi-tech scheme costing £910,000 to optimise traffic light sequences in the city.
This is part of a £3.1m package set aside for major road improvements, as previously reported in The News.
Portsmouth Cycle Forum opposed the traffic light plan.
Roger Inkpen, from the group, said the sequences would favour vehicles.
He said: ‘Despite the official policies of discouraging car use and encouraging active travel, such as walking and cycling, we are back to helping traffic flow better.’
He added: ‘Making it easier for drivers to get around will result in more traffic and we will have to make more improvements in the future, when what we actually need to do is reduce the volume of traffic.’
However, the forum did welcome the new cycle lane, which will run from opposite Francis Avenue to the pedestrian crossing west of Fratton Way.
There was some objection to the lane as it will see the removal of loading bays and unrestricted parking.
Ward councillor Lee Hunt wrote to Cllr Ellcome and urged him to bring back the MB and MC parking permit zones so the vehicles that would usually park along Goldsmith Avenue, would not clog up nearby roads.
Although Cllr Ellcome said: ‘I am not prepared to bring it back in a piecemeal fashion, it needs to be a comprehensive scheme.’
Councillors Lynne Stagg, Stuart Potter and Yahiya Chowdhury, on the panel, all supported the lane.
Cllr Chowdhury said: ‘It is very good for cyclists and the traffic on the road. It is one of the busiest roads in the city.’