People walking and cycling to the city centre from the east of the city could benefit from a safer and more pleasant route, if new plans to make improvements are approved at cabinet meeting next week.

A report going to Portsmouth city council’s cabinet meeting on Tuesday 8 February recommends that improvements to the cycling and walking route between Fratton and the city centre are approved. These improvements form the third phase of proposals for this route, following a first phase at Goldsmith Avenue and Haslemere Road and a second phase in the area east of Somerstown Community Hub. The long-term plan for this route aims to connect cycle routes from the east of Portsmouth to The Hard Interchange in the west.

This third phase of improvements would cover the area between the Winston Churchill Avenue/Isambard Brunel Road roundabout and St Michael’s Gyratory on Winston Churchill Avenue and includes proposals to:

Create a two-way cycleway along both sides of Winston Churchill Avenue including the repositioning of the bus stop outside the University Learning Centre.
Upgrade the crossing outside the University’s Eldon Building on Winston Churchill Avenue to a ‘toucan crossing’, so cyclists and pedestrians can both cross safely.
Create a new crossing at the junction with Winston Churchill Avenue and Middle Street so that people walking or cycling have a safer way to cross.
Redesign the end of St James’s Road to make it more accessible for people walking, cycling, and using the disabled parking bays.
Link Wellington Street with quieter cycle routes to the east, to improve connections from the south.

This busy area sees a lot of people walking and cycling already, and if approved, these plans will help to improve access for people with pushchairs or mobility aids. They will also promote healthier lifestyles by making it safer for people to walk or cycle. If more people choose to travel by bicycle or by foot, the air quality in the area will be improved. Since this area is within the Portsmouth Clean Air Zone, this is an important benefit.

Public consultation, including an online survey, was recently completed to ask people’s opinions on these improvements. The results are currently being analysed, and suggestions will be incorporated into the detailed design of these improvements if the recommendations in the report are approved by Portsmouth city council.

Cllr Lynne Stagg, Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation, said: “Providing safer and more pleasant walking and cycling routes is important to delivering our vision for cleaner, healthier and better-connected travel options in the city. I am keen to discuss the next phase of improvements for this important route at cabinet next week.”

People can find out more about these planned improvements at www.portsmouth.gov.uk/winstonchurchillavenue.