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Roads will quickly be closed in the city centre to provide space for social distancing to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus

Initial plans to create more space for social distancing on the road network will see roads quickly being closed in the city centre to provide space for social distancing to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

In response to this need to provide space for social distancing and the government’s emergency request to local authorities to reallocate road space where possible, Portsmouth City Council is reviewing the whole of the city’s road network to look at where space for cycling and walking can safely be created.

The first road closures for all vehicles except buses from 8pm 22 May are as follows:

  • Charlotte Street – from Landport View to Cascades Approach
  • Isambard Brunel Road – from Station Street to Greetham Street
  • Guildhall Walk – from the junction of Alec Rose Lane to the junction of Spring Gardens

These roads will provide safer routes for people to walk and cycle whilst also, in some locations, giving businesses more space to safely operate. Deliveries and collections within these roads can be made before 8am or after 8pm. These changes will continuously be reviewed as travel needs across the city change.

Residents and businesses along those roads have been contacted by the council so they can provide information about any changes that may be needed to the road closure.

This has been brought in as an emergency response to the Coronavirus pandemic and the council recognises that slight changes may be needed once the closures.

Portsmouth has seen an increase of 73% in cycling and for this to continue it is important that space is made to do this safely. The way people use footpaths and roads is also changing for businesses as they need to create queues outside and in the future when restaurants reopen they may need space on the streets to operate safely.

Cllr Stagg, Cabinet Member for Transport and Transportation, said “The number of people cycling and walking in Portsmouth has sky-rocketed and we want that to continue by making more space for people to do this safely. Cycling and walking is great for both your physical and mental health, and which also significantly improves air quality, which in turn helps save lives.

“When travelling in the Portsmouth, I urge cyclists, pedestrians and motorists to be considerate towards one another, especially in areas where changes have been made, so that we can all enjoy safer journeys.”

James Cleeton, Sustrans’ Director for the South of England, said: “We welcome Portsmouth City Council’s commitment to closing more roads and making more space available for people to walk and cycle safely.

“Walking and cycling have a key role to play in the UK’s adaptation to and recovery from Covid-19. Measures to increase space for journeys on foot or by cycle are important for public health reasons, to enable key workers to travel around more safely, while also making it easier for people to exercise without coming into close contact with others.

“We look forward to seeing these and more changes taking place as Portsmouth City Council continues to act in the best interests of its residents.”

Journey patterns and congested areas will continue to be monitored as we explore further opportunities across the city where we can change travel priorities to make it safer for everyone to move in Portsmouth.

For more information including maps showing the road closures please view the cycling and walking section on the travel webpage.