Boat service launched for Gunwharf Quays shoppers

Gunwharf Quays

Gunwharf Quays

(Middle) Kaz Miah, owner and head chef, with his team (l-r) Steph Thomas, Rujal Miah, George Purnell and Kieran Crawford.   Picture: Sarah Standing (170506-129)

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DRIVING to Gunwharf Quays can sometimes be a nuisance because of congestion on the roads.

But now a new park-and-sail scheme is being launched which will transform the way people get to the shops.

Visitors can park their cars at Portsmouth International Port and hop on a bus to a nearby boat which will take them there.

The boats, which will be run by Solent and Wightline Cruises, will take up to 115 passengers at one time around Portsmouth Harbour before they arrive.

A commentator on board will talk about nearby attractions.

Gunwharf Quays centre manager Sean Sweeney said: ‘You can come to the port in your car with as many passengers as you like.

‘Then you park your car and get on a bus from outside the car park and through the port to an area where there will be a boat waiting to take you across to Gunwharf Quays. For me, this will make Portsmouth a more attractive place, for people who don’t come here often and for locals.

‘It will help to boost the economy and the number of visitors here, ease congestion on the roads and improve connectivity between the motorway, port and Gunwharf Quays.’

The scheme was set up after Portsmouth City Council asked private companies to invest so that it would be successful in getting £5m worth of funding from The Local Sustainable Transport Fund.

Mr Sweeney said the centre has incurred a cost running the scheme, but would not say how much that was.

The journey each way lasts 20 minutes.

The initiative will run from July 27 to August 26 and it’s hoped that it will come back next summer. Departures from the port will run from 10am from 5pm on the hour. Journeys back will be every half an hour from 10.30am until 6.30pm.

The cost of the tour and parking your car all day at the port is £5.

Because there is a steep slipway when boarding the boat, it may not be suitable for wheelchair users and other people with limited mobility.

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