Portsmouth Cycle Forum note that once again a temporary trial scheme to improve cycling infrastructure has been scrapped, this time in Elm Grove & Kings Road Southsea.
The scheme that was installed did not match the ambition of the designs that were part of the consultation for the scheme and having cut the trial to only three weeks – which unfortunately coincided with another national COVID lockdown – meant there was not enough time to measure real aims of the scheme which was to enable some residents to feel safe in switching their mode of transport away from relying on private vehicles, and towards using more sustainable methods. Many of our members have wondered why this was trialled in November when elsewhere in the country temporary schemes used the summer months.
A bigger issue however are the implications for the Council’s own transport policy for the next fifteen years and the declared vision that by 2036 “Portsmouth will have a people-centred travel network that prioritises walking, cycling and public transport to help deliver a safer, healthier and more prosperous city.”
Much of this will depend on the development of the cycle network identified in the supporting documents where roads will need to have space designed to enable those transport methods that move people most efficiently. By necessity this is a long-term plan and needs acceptance, support and participation of all our politicians working across party boundaries if we are ever to make any progress.
In the meantime, there continues to be over 160 cycle casualties on our city’s roads every year, and many more incidents that go unreported, whilst those who would like to use pedal power more often are frightened off the roads only to increase the congestion, pollution and poor air quality.