Plans to fix Portsmouth rat run road are met with angry opposition

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Portsmouth City Council is considering making a short stretch of Kirby Road in North End one way, to stop drivers turning off London Road and travelling to Copnor Road.

The measure, which would cost £30,000, would see the road become one way, east to west, between Beresford Road and London Road.

But it would also mean Kirby Road’s junction with London Road would be narrowed, which has raised objections from some of the road’s residents.

Edward Gowring, 82, has led opposition, compiling a petition of signatures from neighbours against the plan.

He said: ‘It means any of us attempting to come home would go well out of our way.

‘And it will mean we’ll be driving down other people’s roads, such as Stubbington Avenue or Montague Road.

‘They won’t know why. The junction being narrowed will also cause chaos.

‘At the moment it’s wide enough so that people looking to turn right, against the traffic on London Road, don’t hold up those turning left, as they can fit past them.

‘The new plan means everyone will be held up.’

Mr Gowring accepts there is a problem with the road and acknowledges something needs to be done.

‘There’s lots of traffic and it’s too fast,’ he said. ‘But that’s because the only speed limit sign is painted on the road at the junction.

‘Instead, they should have flashing speed reduction signs, or police officers with speed cameras.’

The council’s traffic team was asked by residents to look into the problem of motorists speeding on Kirby Road, which has a 20mph speed limit. Its officers performed traffic surveys, which found vehicles’ average speeds were 26mph westbound, and 28mph eastbound, travelling from London Road to Copnor Road.

Its proposals, which will be considered by the council’s leader for transport Cllr Jason Fazackarley in December, were designed in response.

Cllr Fazackarley said: ‘The speed of the traffic’s clearly too high, and people are using it as a rat-run.

‘So we’re looking at ways to reduce it, and make the road safer.

‘This proposal has been positively received so far, but I’ll wait to see what the response is before making a decision.

‘We hope making it one way for that stretch, combined with narrowing the junction, and preventing people travelling south on Copnor Road from turning onto Stubbington Road, will help make the roads safer.’ PEOPLE living on a busy Portsmouth road have objected to proposals designed to stop it being used as a ‘rat-run’ by motorists.