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Castle Road and Canal Walk set to see improvements for people choosing to walk and cycle

The latest transformation of city roads is creating new opportunities for residents to make healthier travel choices, thanks to the government’s focus on active travel.

Portsmouth City Council continues to make greener, safer travel improvements to the city in response to the ongoing pandemic. The latest temporary improvements to walking and cycling routes include closing Castle Road and Canal Walk to vehicles.

Castle Road has over 80 homes and a wide range of independent shops that generate a high amount of footfall throughout the year, as well as being used as a route through to the seafront by people driving, walking and cycling. The changes will help this continue safely. They will also address the problem of narrow footpaths where there is limited space for social distancing and stop vehicles using it as a cut-through.

Sydenham Terrace and Canal Walk are popular routes for people walking and cycling, particularly to travel to the city centre, with a pavement on only one side of the road.  This improvement will create a safer route from east to west of the city as visibility around the corner of Canal Walk and Somers Road is poor.

The council was awarded funding from the government’s Emergency Active Travel Fund to put a variety of new temporary schemes in place across the city to encourage people to walk and cycle more. This also supports the council’s aim of encouraging more people to make healthier travel choices and to improve air quality. To find out more visit, www.portsmouth.gov.uk/travelportsmouth.

Due to the emergency nature of the scheme, the temporary changes will be implemented quickly on 1 September 2020. Once the scheme has been installed the council welcomes feedback from residents and business. Feedback can be given by emailing EATF@portsmouthcc.gov.uk.

This feedback is an essential part of the review process for the temporary scheme and it will be used to inform decisions on whether the scheme needs changing, removing or continuing.

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Leader of Portsmouth City Council, said “We want to make it easier and safer for people to access local shops, schools, and work without adding to congestion in the city which creates air pollution. These temporary changes connect with our existing cycling and walking routes to the city centre and seafront, creating more space for healthier travel as well as making it safer.

“If the improvements to routes work well to keep cyclists safe, and create a nicer space to live and shop, we could then look at adapting the designs to make them permanent.  However, this is a temporary change at this stage, and will be regularly reviewed to make sure it works appropriately for users of the route, residents and businesses in the roads.”

The improvement schemes support our ambitious regeneration vision to bring even more growth and prosperity to our proud and historic city. You can find out more about all our regeneration plans and projects at www.portsmouth.gov.uk/regeneration.