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Portsmouth protest ride cancelled after cycle crash

Has council u-turn claimed its first casualty

A cycle ride in support for a safe route along Portsmouth’s seafront was cancelled when one of its participants was injured by a car.

Portsmouth Cycle Forum planned the ride for Sunday along the seafront at Southsea, in the face of a city council decision not to allow cycling along the prom.

But the ride was scrapped when a 25-year-old collided with a car reversing out of a parking space. The cyclist, from Southsea, was hit as he rode along Clarence Esplanade near the war memorial around 4.45pm on June 28.

His bike landed on the car's roof and he was taken by ambulance to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham with suspected head injuries.

Police shut the road around the scene of the accident while they carried out enquiries.

Forum members say that the diagonal parking bays along the seafront make cycling too dangerous, and it should be allowed on the prom itself.

Cycle forum member Hilary Reed said: “We did not think it was safe, particularly with children.

“You have to ride right in the middle of the road staring at the reverse lights to see if they are on, with drivers behind you getting impatient.

“It is really quite scary, it is not a nice experience.” recently reported that despite 3,000 people backing the idea of prom cycling at Southsea following a public consultation, the council did a last-minute about-face and stopped the idea in its tracks.

Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson cited pedestrian safety as his main reason for ordering the U-turn.

Forum members now want city leaders to create a safe cycle route on the road along the seafront.

Traffic officials are working out how to create a route from the Hayling Island Ferry to the Gosport Ferry that won't put cyclists at risk from parked cars or traffic.

This may involve changing the way cars are parked along the seafront or introducing a one-way system.


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