Progress of Palmerston Road Pedestrianisation

Progress of Palmerston Road Pedestrianisation

The pedestrianisation of Palmerston Road seems to being progressing with speed with much of the top of the street now tiled. This change in the street usage will have wide implications to both the local businesses and the local residents. It will be interesting to see how the space is used through the summer, with the local bars most likely hoping for a spot of cafe culture with tables in what was the street and hopefully more room for more stalls at the great food market.

What are your thought’s on the changes, good or bad?

You can find out the details of the changes HERE.


  1. Charlie

    14 March

    I think it’s a good idea, however buses will still be passing through, this could potentially cause accidents with drinkers spilling out of the various bars. We’ll have to see.

  2. SpellingBee

    14 March


  3. Paul Gonella

    14 March

    Thanks bee, now changed. I should try harder. C-

  4. Eugene

    14 March

    i think they should plant more tree’s in southsea not plant more concrete,
    focus on more allotments. i can’t stop thinking about how great it would be to have allotments in the moat of southsea castle

  5. claire

    14 March

    yes I agree with Eugene – more radical and unique ways of utlising the city and surroundings. Love the idea of using the moat – markets there also perhaps?

    I think taxi’s will also be allowed to use the new plans above – blimey! have a coffee and watch them speed on by.

  6. Stuart Barker

    14 March

    To allow traffic on it full stop seems to defeat the object? Is it just going to be no vehicles between certain times?

  7. Tristan Savage

    15 March

    I fail to see the point in all honesty and feel the money could have been used to much better effect in many ways. Yearly financial budget usage anyone!!!

  8. John Bagnall

    15 March

    Some pedestrianisation of some of Southsea is better than none at all. The real prize would be to see the same done with Osborne Road, with buses and taxis re-routed accordingly. As for the point of it, making a start towards encouraging a few more Belle Isles and specialist shops and businesses, at the expense of the current plethora of estate agents, hair salons and (sorry, but it has to be said) charity shops, would be fine by me.

  9. Tristan

    15 March

    Agreed, I guess my point was the money could have been better appropriated developing Osborne over a road which will mainly have hoards of drinkers spilling out of all year round. Which in turn may put other people off going to the restaurants down there. Especially in the summertime. What’s Tommy Peters opinion on this regarding Sopranos and the effect it may have positive or otherwise as Palmerston Road trader. Tommy?

  10. Caroline

    15 March

    I’ve been a permanent resident for the last 6 years, and a temporary resident for 4 years previous to that. I used to love palmerston road…but now it’s turning into a guildhall walk kind of area. Avoiding now like the plague.

    It’s just going to encourage more of the binge drinking that goes on at these establishments, not the ‘cafe culture’ they’re hoping for. You can change the bricks and mortar but you can’t change the clientele

  11. Matt Wingett

    15 March

    Yes, I agree with Caroline to some extent on that. If you’ve got a whole load of pubs and very few alternative, unlicensed establishments, then what you will end up with is Guildhall Walk Mk 2.

    As for rerouting traffic – well – then you end up not only making it noisy and unpleasant for people down Palmerston Rd, you also end up jamming the surrounding roads with traffic.

    I’ve lived in Portsmouth for a long time and live 5 minutes from this place. I didn’t see any consultation with this. Was that me being blind, or does anyone know if it went on?

    Seems heavy-handed, and probably counter-productive, unless you can limit the bars there, and get real shops in. Which I find quite unlikely.

  12. tara knight

    15 March

    I agree with the above comments – especially that it is going to encourage a “Guildhall Walk” scenario.
    The council are trying to encourage new cafes and restaurants to open there but would you open next to all the pubs?.

    Osborne road would have been better.

    what I find crazy is the blanket planning policies that PCC are putting on Southsea – e.g. no more A3 licences in Albert Road & all new cafes and restaurants to be located in palmerston.

    Why not take new applications on a merit basis and use some common sense, for example not allowing so many take-outs?! and yes encourage more belle isle type businesses. I love southsea and we really need to encourage the soul of this area – great independent creative people rather than corporate boozers.

    But really Eugene has got it spot on.. Southsea castle moat… anyone spoken to the council about it?!

  13. Nathan

    15 March

    Agree with the majority above – as nice an idea as it would be having Palmerston Road as a cafe culture hub (with the view all the way upto Avenue de Caen and the common) however the presence of Wetherspoons, S&L and Owens plus the various takeaways seems to detract from the overall idea and make it hard to imagine anything other than Guildhall Wk MkII.

    The council should do more to encourage independent local businesses to take a chance and invest in the area as places like the belle isle have shown there is a demand for non-chain restaurants and venues. Won’t hold my breath though!

  14. Adam

    15 March

    I live on palmerston road. Have to say ever since wetherspoons opened it has got a lot worse. Cheap booze has brought the guild hall bingers in their drones and it doesn’t feel like a nice nor a safe place to be at night if you’re not part of that crowd.

    I can only see that paving this area will make things worse (if a little safer for the stumbling drunkards crossing the road).

    Southsea’s such a great place and full of a really unique culture that I love, but this area around osbourne and palmerston road is rapidly eroding that culture in this part of the city. Such a shame.

  15. LP

    15 March

    It’s a close call between pedestrianising bits of Southsea to make it more attractive and shutting off the roads that bring people to it. This scheme is already causing traffic to duck down side-roads elsewhere. The responses to the consultation the Council held before they did it was largely negative, but they went ahead anyway.

    I’m sure the smokers from the Spoons and Owens will be chuffed, that part of Palmerston Road isn’t going to be “gentrified” by part-pedestrianisation.

  16. Ben Mills

    15 March

    We would have welcomed this outside The Belle Isle but alas it seems like we have missed out to the money boys around the corner. Albert Road and Osborne Road always seem to come second to Palmerston Road when it comes to the council budget.

  17. Gareth C

    15 March

    I agree, this does just seem like a bit of a waste of time, and the money would have been much better spent widening pavements in Osborne and especially tarting up the Queens Hotel end. Spending cash on an area which won’t even be properly pedestrianised is a bit bizarre. Pound for pound this cash would have gone much further on Osborne!

  18. John Bagnall

    15 March

    Some really good points here. And I apologise if my original post is in any way flippant or sweeping in seeming to disregard any of the good points which others are making.

    One thing which comes immediately to mind – having lived within 100m of Palmerston Road since 1989 – is that Guildhall Walk actually became Palmerston Road MkII. The frustration I feel is not that we should be wary of a new phenomenon of binge-drinking arriving in Palmerston Road so much as that the Council seems to have forgotten what Palmerston Road was like before and why it decided to try to change the focal point for late-night revelry to the (essentially) non-residential environs of Guildhall Square.

    Another is that you get the custom you court. Just one of the reasons I’m an unashamed fan of the Belle Isle is that it’s well-managed to the extent that it’s not yet found the need for door staff (and I hope never will). Instead, on the relatively few occasions I’ve been in there and things have threatened to become “lively”, polite but firm words have been had and the potential flashpoint has been resolved. I’m probably being hopelessly idealistic but, given the will and commitment FROM THE OUTSET on the part of the Council, Police and licensees, there’s a chance to make the pedestrianisation the beginning of a worthwhile investment in the future of Southsea, rather than a short-term budget fix.

    Finally, extending the scheme to Osborne Road would not only spread the potential benefits of pedestrianistion more widely but also dilute, to some extent, the negatives.

    It’s slightly ironic that a local councillor told me only 48 hours ago that one of the main obstacles to pedestrianising Osborne Road is the need for access for the emergency services. I can’t help but feel that one of the best ways to address this might be to reduce the need for them to be there in the first place.

  19. Paul Windsor

    15 March

    I agree Ben, how much more money is the council going to throw at Palmerston Road.

  20. Ben Mills

    16 March

    John are you fishing for a free beer? Haha, only joking.

    If traffic is such a problem up that way also, has it not been noticed that there is a massive wide road that runs at the other end of Palmerston Road called THE SEAFRONT! There is plenty of space for buses and bus stops down there and for taxis. But hang on, that’s where the older voting population and councillors live so they wouldn’t want that inconvenience spoiling their view would they now.

  21. tommy p

    22 March

    Sorry only just seen this post.
    Interesting reading what people have to say here. The general feeling seems to be that the residents don’t like it and that many business’s didn’t want it. I also know and have seen actual petitions that were made against the changes yet the Council decided to ignore them?
    I have grown up in between osbourne road and palmie road and alos have a business, Sopranos, right next to the pedestrianisation. While I’m all for the development of the area, an area which was largely abandoned by the Council when Gunwharf was built, I am also concerned with the prospect of a ‘Guildhall walk mark II’ as some have called it here. The council talks of a ‘Cafe Culture’, but the premises which will be affected here are pubs, ie. Drift, HKC, Weatherspoons, The Slug and Lettuce and Bloody Owens! I don’t think you can get any further from continental alfresco dining(DIN’ing) than the smokers who gather outside here everyday. Pete from HKC himself actually started a petition against the work as he feared the already aggressive and increasingly rough nights may get worse with pedestrianisation. Strange the council ignored his pleas?
    Also as others have pointed out buses will be allowed to travel through so its not really a pedestrianisation at all is it? Doesen’t really add up?
    Saying all this I still think the scheme has benefits.. Its similar to what happened in albert rd near LJR/Porters where they levelled the road with the pavement and it seems to have had a positive effect here? Hopefully it will bring more NICE people to the area rather than just going to Gunwharf and from a business point of view encourage shoppers from the to venture further south of the precinct.
    As for palmie rd being chosen over osbourne rd, i think this is to do with the residents. There is more housing around the belle isle area than in palmerston rd so it made sense from the councils point of view to do the work here. I’m not saying this is right but Millsey knows all about how difficult some residents around osbourne rd can be.
    Anyway I’m reserving judgement for now, a bank holiday weekend when its all finished will be the time to judge.

  22. B

    22 March

    Like mentioned above, if buses still use it whats the point? Not like you can have chairs / tables on it. Reminds me most of West Street in Chichester. Used only by buses and taxi’s with a red coloured topping. Don’t see people milling about on it do you!

    Also, off topic, but fantastic job at Sopranos, only place I’ve been where you struggle to get a table mid week if you don’t book.

  23. tommy p

    22 March

    Thanks B, kind words

  24. Anon

    24 March

    I know for a fact they HAD to do it to hit their annual spending quota, as i live with someone who works in that department. If noone noticed, they also painted Guildhall steps, and re-tiled the benches at the top of them, just to burn money.

  25. Eugene

    26 March

    At the above if this is true, it would make me incredibly sad especially after years of neglecting the skatepark after “lack of funds”. I’m pretty sure Hancock and bunch have stopped caring about the needs of anyone except those of the council. i have heard many stories exposing the council for corruption, I’m sure everyone is fairly bored of Hancocks antics, and i truly sympathise with his wife.

  26. Richard

    4 April

    I note above the comment about Belle Isle not yet resorting to door staff – it might be worth the contributor knowing that some of the establishments in Palmerston road are forced to have door staff on Friday and Saturday nights solely due to the capacity of the premises not because of any fear by the operator of binge drinking etc… it is a cost they have to bear not a cost or image they have by choice. Looking forward to the works being finished to give the whole place a facelift.

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