Cycling in Portsmouth was the subject of a 10 minute film shown in BBC One’s regional ‘Inside Out’ show last Monday. The piece focussed on cycle safety following the recently published DfT accident statistics for Portsmouth which show us as being one of the least safe places to cycle in England.
The BBC film presents a good balanced view and features input from Portsmouth Cycle Forum, Portsmouth City Council and many cyclists and motorists. The show is currently available on BBC iPlayer (until next Monday) in case you haven’t seen it.
In the film PCC’s spokesman Oliver Wilcocks expresses the view that on many urban streets there simply isn’t room for cycling without demolishing houses. We’d like to take issue with this - cycling is more space-efficient that any form of transport other than walking after all. The issue - and the elephant in the room - is that car parking and car-friendly carriageways have been retrofitted to roads across the city and used every bit of space.
It seems obvious to say that the number of private cars driving and parking on Portsmouth’s streets has reached critical levels. Portsmouth needs to use its space better and that means more cycling. Cycling gives space back.