A number of local residents and community groups have been in touch with Portsmouth Labour in recent weeks to express concerns about the planned month-long closure of the well used pedestrian and cycle path adjacent to the A27 leading past Farlington Marshes.
In their roles as Labour spokespersons for Traffic and Transport, and Climate Change and the Green Recovery, Councillors Graham Heaney and Charlotte Gerada wrote to the council leadership asking what can be done to address the issues raised. In addition they have spoken to council officers and lobbied Highways England and the Environment Agency directly.
Following these discussions it has been confirmed that the planned works have now been postponed for at least three weeks while a review of the safety of the alternate cycle route is carried out. The contractors have agreed to give two weeks notice before any work commences and to put up adequate signage to warn of works taking place.
Councillor Graham Heaney said: “I have still to receive a clear answer as to why it is necessary to close the whole cycleway for a month but it appears to be about the scale of the work being undertaken.
“The Environment Agency are undertaking their work on Farlington Marshes but they have told me they do not need to close the whole path round the reserve to do this and as no work will take place at weekends people can still use paths on the reserve.
“I have asked to be kept informed about the progress on all this and will continue to press for any disruption to those who use this important active travel route to be minimised”.
Councillor Charlotte Gerada said: “We are very pleased to see further consideration being made about the closure of this key cycling route. It’s vitally important both in response to the global pandemic and the climate emergency that the council does all it can to encourage forms of active travel.
“We hope that a fair solution will be found to ensure a major cycle and walking path isn’t cut off to our city over summer.”