Residents’ safety on city roads has been put first as Kier halted work at Farlington Marshes following meetings with Portsmouth City Council.
Portsmouth City Council have challenged Kier about their plans for a significant diversion around Highways England’s repair works to the wall at Farlington Marshes. The challenge follows significant concerns, initially highlighted to Kier in February, about the safety of people cycling along the diversion and the length of the route on busy roads. Farlington marshes cycle route is both a commuter and leisure cycle route for many, with families often using this cycle path with young children due to being away from traffic. The diversion route would put cyclists of mixed abilities at unnecessary risk, on busy roads.
The council has also challenged Kier’s approach to working within a Site of Scientific Interest to ensure the environment is also protected and properly considered during their construction work.
Cllr Lynne Stagg, Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation said “Four months of hard work by the council to challenge Kier’s approach to the work at Farlington Marshes has been successful, and finally Kier has agreed to halt the project as we requested. As a result of our lobbying they will be carrying out a detailed risk assessment and safety audit of the diversion while also ensuring all environmental aspects of the project are properly considered. We understand work is needed on the wall by Farlington Marshes however, it must be carried out in a safer way and with due consideration to the environment.”
The council will continue to lobby Kier to ensure a safe cycle diversion is in place and the environment is protected before work commences. The council will also continue to work with Hampshire County Council who are the transport authority for this section of highway that cuts through the Portsmouth boundary.