Portsmouth to press on with footpaths and public space works

Recommendations to adopt the English city council’s Rights of Way Improvement Plan were made at a Traffic and Transportation decision meeting held earlier this week.

The move comes at a time when greening and active travel are fast becoming defining aspects of UK urban planning, with the initiative looking at how to improve walking routes and access to open space between 2022 and 2032, building on work put in place in the decade to 2017. 

aerial view of city during daytime

Overall, aims are focused on improving mobility within a densely populated area in a bid to combat congestion on the roads and boost public health, which in turn have a direct impact on air pollution and air quality. Currently, Portsmouth is home to 103 recognised rights of way, around five miles of public footpath and 780 hectares of open space. The new proposals look to raise the standards of the assets and expand the scale over the coming ten years. 

Following consultation with residents that took place between November 2021 and February 2022, during which time anyone was able to submit ideas and influence the final shape of the Rights of Way Improvement Plan. This has given decision and policymakers a strong insight into the needs and wishes of the local population, a clear view of how easy to understand the plan was, and ability to measure feasibility and suitability of the scheme to meet those requirements. 

The Portsmouth project is just one of a number of major undertakings of this kind in towns and cities across the UK. Recently, Brighton & Hove Council announced £200,000 of funding for improvements to walking and cycling routes through the borough.

Image: Richard Brooker-Protheroe


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