Concerns raised over ‘sustainable’ plans for Southsea street

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BUSINESSES are concerned about plans to revamp a street in Southsea.

Portsmouth City Council wants to widen pavements, improve crossings and put more seats in Osborne Road, Southsea.

Trees could be added at the entrance and traffic would remain two-way.

It is considering the changes after securing funding from the Department for Transport’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund.

The council has been given £5m to spend until 2015.

The proposals, which go out for public consultation on Monday, have been opposed by firms as they feel their trade would be affected.

Kathleen Guedeney, who manages La Croissanterie, with her son Andre, in Osborne Road, said: ‘For us, these are not good ideas. We get a lot of trade from people who pull up in their cars outside, get something to eat and then go again.

‘There could be a reduction in the number of parking spaces because there’s talk of making tree areas.

‘If it’s going to be like that then people will avoid the road.

‘It will bring hold-up after hold-up.

‘If people know there is some sort of congestion in a road, they just go another way.

‘I don’t see any big problems here so I don’t know why the council would want to change things.’

Fay Ingle, duty manager for Grosvenor Casino, said: ‘If it draws more people in then that means more trade for everyone.

‘But will it increase the volume of visitors or keep people away because they can’t park? Parking is already an issue here.

‘It’s a difficult decision – but Osborne Road does need some tender, loving care.’

Residents can voice their views at a drop-in session taking place at St Jude’s Church, Southsea, on Monday, July 1 from 2pm to 8pm.

As part of the consultation, people will be asked their thoughts on Palmerston Road’s pedestrian zone and new bollards in Lennox Road South, which have been put in to prevent vehicles accessing the seafront.

Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson said: ‘Widening the pavements has worked well in North End.

‘It’s what traders have asked for in other places like Cosham. In Osborne Road, the pavements are really narrow.’