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.