The deferred planning application for a new business development at Lakeside, North Harbour was approved at the City Council’s Planning Committee on 9 December.
Councillors on the planning committee expressed the view that it was not incumbent on the developers to provide any further sustainable transport infrastructure.
They did however, agree that cycle infrastructure at Portsbridge is fundamentally inadequate and that something must be done. The implication would seem to be then that PCC will take some action itself.
Councillor Luke Stubbs (Conservative) spoke in favour of the proposals stressing the need for more jobs in the city. He made no mention of the need to reduce dependence on the car for travel to and from the site. He proposed that the application should be passed by the planning committee.
Councillor Jacqui Hancock (Liberal Democrat) was silent throughout the proceedings with the exception of seconding Cllr Stubbs proposal.
Councillor Jim Fleming (Liberal Democrat) sympathised with the objectors but felt that the developers had made efforts to accomodate the wishes of the city planners.
Councillor Donna Jones (Conservative) shared Cllr Phillip’s view. She said that it was a case of risk vs reward – the risk of increasing Portsmouth’s carbon footprint vs the rewards of people having jobs in order to be able to buy bicycles to enjoy cycling. She quoted a letter form a constituent who asked “if there were no more cars in Portsmouth, would the threat of flooding from the sea recede?”
Portsmouth Cycle Forum (PCF) committee member Mike Dobson made an impassioned plea to the committee not to approve the scheme. Whilst PCF does not object to the development per-se, we have grave concerns that the transport plans make little provision for pedestrians and cyclists.
This view was backed-up by CTC Right-to-Ride representative Jon Spencer.
Whilst we are disappointed that the Lakeside development has been approved with inadequate sustainable transport provision, the developers, Highcross, have agreed to an open dialoge with us. We look forward to a useful and constructive relationship which will bring benefits to pedestrians and cyclists.
In conjunction with the CTC, Portsmouth Cycle Forum has produced a detailed assessment of the current strategic cycle routes in and out of Portsmouth.
The document provides an objective user’s view of the key cycle routes in to and out of Portsmouth. It assesses their safety, their usability by all types of cyclist and how well they meet the Department for Transport (DfT) and Portsmouth City Council (PCC) aspirations for cycle infrastructure.
PCC aspires to produce a cycle network interconnecting all locations in the city – good quality arterial routes in and out of the city are an essential element of any such network.
This document therefore provides a baseline to assist planning and development of Portsmouth’s cycle network.
The document is split into two sections – the main body which presents an overview and assessment of each route and appendices which provide detailed analysis of each route. Both are available for download:
Portsmouth City Council approved the first phase of the Southsea Seafront cycle route at the Cabinet Meeting on 9 November.
The route will be on the road between Eastney Swimming Pool and South Parade Pier, next to the promenade. The dangerous echelon (angled) parking bays will be replaced with spaces parallel to the road.
Portsmouth Cycle Forum welcomes this decision and we look forward to the opening of the route in the spring of 2010.
We spoke in support of the proposals at the meeting along with the CTC and the Portsmouth Disability Forum.
Southsea Seafront Traders were concerned that the loss of 150 parking spaces would impact their businesses, however the figures presented showed that these spaces were full on very few occasions during the year. At the busiest times, overflow parking will be available on Southsea Common and councillors agreed to look at other sites to replace the spaces that will be lost.
The permanent Park and Ride system will provide much needed relief to the parking problems in Portsmouth and Southsea when it comes on-stream.
The route for Phase 2, from South Parade Pier to Clarence Pier, has yet to be decided.
We will be working with Portsmouth City Council and other interested parties to ensure that it will be safe and practicable.
The delayed planning application for a new business development at Lakeside, North Harbour was deferred at the City Council’s Planning Committee on 14 October. The developers, Highcross, boast that the flagship scheme will have excellent ‘green’ credentials and claim that the it will encourage people to use sustainable travel (walking, cycling and buses). The Portsmouth Cycle Forum is one of many organisations objecting and has pointed out that the plans for the pedestrian and cycle routes to Lakeside are seriously inadequate.
Government climate change carbon reduction targets mean that Portsmouth needs to encourage people to leave their cars at home and use sustainable transport options instead.
But the few improvements planned for the shared pedestrian and cycle paths will not be enough to provide safe and attractive routes that will persuade people to travel sustainably.
Highcross have assumed a steady growth in the numbers of people wanting to drive to Lakeside and they plan to widen the roads and the Portsbridge roundabout to take this growth in polluting motor traffic.
However, Consultants Capita Symonds have made no allowance for the increase in cycling that the Council wants. The plans do nothing to remove a major bottleneck on the main pedestrian and cycle route from Portsea Island to Lakeside and the plans won’t provide enough light controlled road crossings for cyclists and pedestrians to cross the Lakeside access roads in safety.
Portsmouth Cycle Forum urges the developers to think again and make improvements to the pedestrian and cycle infrastructure. This must be a truly sustainable development and not just one that ticks boxes on a sheet of paper.
Portsmouth Cycle Forum was invited to look at the draft drawings of the first phase of the cycle route along Southsea seafront. This section extends from South Parade Pier to Henderson Road along Southsea Esplanade and Eastney Esplanade.
Having seen these drawings and after clarification on some of the plans, we submitted our comments to councillors for consideration.
We are particularly concerned that cycle lanes are shown to pass directly behind the echelon car parking for much of the way. In our view this is very dangerous since drivers reversing from them simply cannot see cyclists approaching.
We are also concerned that the route is designed for experienced cyclists only.
Anyone new to cycling or returning to cycling will be reluctant to negotiate busy roads with parked cars. This is not a good proposal for children and other vulnerable cyclists.