A flexible approach to travel planning around some city roads is helping to create safer routes, provide businesses with additional space and encourage active travel during the pandemic.
Since the outbreak, Portsmouth City Council has temporarily changed the use of a number of roads which gives flexibility to respond to the changing travel needs of the city during the pandemic. During September many people continue to work from home as others return to work, children have returned to school and businesses are finding more ways to adapt to the pandemic. As the city's travel needs evolve, the council are making changes to road layouts in response.
The council regularly reviews the schemes that have been put in and the potential for additional schemes. Any decisions about changes to the schemes are informed by advice from public health England and the police, as well as safety audits, scheme usage levels and all feedback that is received.
The latest review has resulted in a number of decisions about the schemes. The council could re-consider any previous decisions if the pandemic situation changes.
A small section of the western seafront road closure will be reopened from the Hovercraft to Mozzarella Joes before 9am on Saturday 12 September. With the closure of Clarence Parade car park for the coastal defences work it is important that additional car parking spaces are provided, especially for those with blue badges. The Southsea Common overflow car park will be open during the weekend to provide further car parking spaces ahead of this change.
Students return to the University of Portsmouth this month and with this in mind Charlotte Street and Guildhall walk will remain closed to vehicles to encourage cycling and walking. People will also be able to continue cycling through Guildhall Square, creating a safe cycle route. This is a key route for students travelling from halls of residence to the University.
Palmerston Road South is still temporarily closed to traffic to support a more continental style atmosphere on the street, based around on-street seated dining, and to create more space for social distancing. So please go local and eat out to support our local businesses. This scheme is being regularly reviewed.
As decided last month, the western seafront closure will reopen on 30 September and the eastern seafront closure will re-open on 13 September. A review is currently taking place of the pedestrian crossings on Eastern Esplanade as these are also part of the temporary changes.
The improvements to safer cycling and walking along Canal Walk and Castle Road are now in place with the road closed to vehicles. There has been a short delay in this change due to a national shortage of road signage as all councils respond to the need for short term changes to their road networks
Creating a segregated cycle route along Elm Grove continues to be reviewed and further consultation will be carried out soon, based on the initial feedback.
Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Leader of Portsmouth City Council, said "We continue to monitor and adapt the temporary changes to roads in the city in response to the way peoples' travel needs evolve during the pandemic. Changes like the closure of Palmerston Road South has created an enjoyable cycling and walking route to the seafront and has helped businesses by providing them with a more pleasant space for eating and drinking."