Why this Southsea campaigner doesn’t want part of the seafront pedestrianised 

A SOUTHSEA campaigner is hoping his efforts will prevent the design for one section of the new sea defences going forward.

Carl Parker of Burbidge Grove shared his concerns about plans for the seafront at Canoe Lake by distributing 500 leaflets to homeowners in the area.

Carl Parker with his leaflet explaining some of the issues with one of the sea defence options

Carl Parker with his leaflet explaining some of the issues with one of the sea defence options

Mr Parker believed that option one for Canoe Lake, pedestrianising the frontage, would cause traffic problems along Eastern Parade and worsen parking issues in the surrounding roads.

The 50-year-old said: ‘Option one might go through, it might not. It depends if we get enough support against it.

‘I have spoken to a few of my neighbours and they are all in agreement. We don’t want all that traffic coming down Eastern Parade.

‘There are a lot of businesses and services for children by the road, there’s the Cumberland House museum, nurseries, cafes and the tennis club. They are all used by children and for that traffic to increase is a worry.

‘At the moment there is free parking down that road. I don’t know what will happen to that.

‘I don't mind the second option with the road, that’s not too bad although I am still worried about the parking if that goes ahead. With both options they will have to take land away from somewhere else for parking. And land is in short supply.

He added: 'I am also worried about where a cycle lane would go. It would have to be on the northern side of the road because where it is at the moment, between parked cars and the promenade, is really dangerous. There are car doors opening all the time. It needs to be safer for cyclists, pedestrians and drivers.'

READ MORE: How the Southsea sea defences will work

But Cllr Dave Ashmore, the council's environment boss, said: 'Pedestrianisation in this area proved to be a popular idea at earlier engagement events, as it would create a seamless link from the park to the beach.

'With this in mind, we wanted to offer the options of keeping the road open or closing it to traffic to the wider public to see what they thought. It's also important to note that we have also been carrying out traffic assessments on the affected seafront roads over the past few months so we can understand what the impact would be if the road use was changed.

'This data, along with the results from the consultation, will be provided to the cross-party working group for them to make a decision on how we move forward in September. If pedestrianisation was chosen, there would then be a separate consultation process carried out to implement new road layouts and parking arrangements in surrounding areas so that residents are not adversely affected.

'Input from the public is vital to the success of this critically important project, which will significantly reduce the risk of flooding for 8,000 homes and 700 businesses in Southsea.'

As part of the sea defence consultation there is a second option available which retains the road. Members of the public are still able to vote on the option they prefer via an online survey until August 27.