The Pompey Street Space campaign is asking the council to support residents to cycle and walk rather than getting back in their cars again after lockdown.
As traffic levels rise again, they are calling for Portsmouth City Council to make our city safe for residents to walk, wheel, shop and cycle whilst keeping 2m apart.
Campaigners are calling for the council to immediately:
- Widen narrow pavements in busy streets so that people can keep two metres apart whilst walking, queuing for shops etc.
- Create a city-wide network of roads that give priority to cyclists and pedestrians
- Create commuter cycle routes to allow people who usually travel by public transport to get quickly and safely to work by bike.
These changes need to happen quickly, and as Croydon, Manchester, Brighton and other cities have shown they can be put in place cheaply using ‘pop up’ measures such as footway extension, thermoplastic tape, bollards and planters.
Ways to support the campaign
- Sign the petition
- Email ward councillors with the above demands
- Add your name to the Open Letter (reply to email@example.com for details)
- Follow the campaign on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and share our posts
- Download the poster and display it in your window
Together this can be done
The campgin recognises that the council is under pressure financially and in terms of staff capacity. This is why the core campaign team is offering to work with PCC to identify priority cycle and pedestrian routes throughout the city, and build support in the community for the changes that need to happen. Together our city can be made safe for walkers and cyclists: but action is needed now and it needs to be bold. Your help and support is also needed.
Since the lockdown, the number of residents walking and cycling has risen hugely. The cleaner air, more audible bird song and peaceful streets have been a revelation for many of how our city could be.
However, now the lockdown is easing, people are returning to work and traffic levels are rising.
On top of this, the government has advised against using public transport, so there is a real danger that cars become the default mode of socially distanced travel.
For Portsmouth, as the most densely populated city in the UK, that would be a public health disaster. To give just one example: shopping in places with narrow pavements like London Road would be virtually impossible without stepping into the path of traffic.
It would also mean going back to being the 4th most congested city in the UK, with harmful levels of air pollution, and some of the most dangerous roads for cyclists outside of London.
This doesn’t have to happen. Instead, there is a unique opportunity to create a city that is greener, healthier and more prosperous. Help make it happen.
Who is Pompey Street Space
Nick Sebley of the Portsmouth Climate Action Board: “We acknowledge and welcome the ‘quick wins’ that the council have announced in the south of the city, and the new cycle lane on the Eastern Road; however the key demand of our campaign is that these measures become a joined up city-wide network, so everyone in Portsmouth can walk, wheel and cycle safely.”
Rachel Hudson of Portsmouth Friends of the Earth: “These are stressful times for business owners and employees: however an ever-growing number of studies show that if a city prioritises pedestrians and cyclists this boosts retail spending, especially in independent shops. These are the shops currently most at risk of closure, so this plan could offer a lifeline.”