People travelling on pavements will be able to activate pedestrian crossings more easily, thanks to improved accessibility at key junctions and crossings in the city.

People on foot or in wheelchairs and mobility scooters will be able to use an app to their smartphone to activate a pedestrian crossing, thanks to new ‘SmartCross+ ¬†technology which Portsmouth City Council has installed at a well-used junction between Park Road and St Georges Road outside Gunwharf Quays.

This is particularly helpful for people with disabilities, as using the app is a simpler and easier way to be able to cross safely. The app is currently available from the Apple App Store and Google Play. People can also simply hold their hand under the push button unit instead of pressing the button.

Cyclists will also benefit from new low level cycle signals with early release functions at the junction between Park Road and St Georges Road. These are similar to the main traffic signals but positioned at a lower level, making it easier for them to be seen, with many other junctions across the city already using them. People on bikes will be given a head start over the rest of the traffic, to enable them to move into the junction first and become more visible to motorists.

People who drive will also benefit from more intelligent control of traffic thanks to built-in detectors to monitor whether people are using the crossing or travelling through the junction on bikes. The traffic lights will also be improved to be more visible to drivers.

Other locations across the city also have the same technology installed at busy crossing points with push button controls. These include pedestrian crossings in Winston Churchill Avenue, Goldsmith Avenue, Victoria Road North and crossings at the junction of Milton Road and Velder Avenue. Crossings in Marketway, Commercial Road North and London Road are due to have the Smartcross+ facilities installed later this year.

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “I’m pleased to see better accessibility options for disabled people being added to junctions across Portsmouth. We continually look at ways to make things better for everyone travelling around Portsmouth, and these improvements will make it safer and easier for everyone to cross the road and improve traffic flow, especially at busy times.”