Transport and traffic hot topics in elections

TRAINING An Eclipse bus on the BRT route between Gosport and Fareham takes part in training, seen from the Gregson Avenue bridge in Bridgemary.  (121369-2)
TRAINING An Eclipse bus on the BRT route between Gosport and Fareham takes part in training, seen from the Gregson Avenue bridge in Bridgemary. (121369-2)
Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson. Pictute: LPhot Ioan Roberts

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TRANSPORT and traffic issues have become a pressing issue ahead of the upcoming May 3 local elections.

With the controversial Bus Rapid Transit route opening in Gosport on Sunday and the ongoing problem of residents’ parking in Portsmouth, there has been plenty to talk about for candidates on the doorstep.

Councillor Jim Patey, Labour shadow spokesperson for traffic and transportation at Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘One of the issues is we have a huge number of residential parking zones. We have got to a stage now where we are over-saturated with them. I am anxious to make sure that we have a more positive approach on this. Because of the density of Portsmouth it does create huge problems.

‘There are also the high parking charges which apply across the city. We have got to ensure that we keep the parking charges down to a bare minimum without the charges sneaking up.

‘Otherwise people aren’t going to come into the city and shop.’

In Havant, Faith Ponsonby, leader of the borough’s Liberal Democrats said the ‘biggest transport problem’ was the Asda roundabout in Bedhampton.

‘McDonald’s has now been given permission to build a drive-through next to it and there are plans for the Dunsbury Hill Farm business park, which we welcome, but we are very worried about the impact it’s going to have on that already busy roundabout,’ she said.

‘You will not be able to reach the business park from the motorway, you will have to reach it from Hulbert Road meaning the impact on that roundabout is going to be huge and I’m hoping it’s going to get sorted out.’

Cllr Sean Woodward, Tory leader for Fareham Borough Council, said the A32 was still a big issue.

He said: ‘The simple reason is the job density in Gosport.

‘Half of adults have to travel out of Gosport to get to work and that’s the problem.

‘The real challenge is what we are going to do about it. We need to create jobs within the peninsula and that is what we are doing at Daedalus.

‘The BRT is a big investment.

‘But it’s not by itself going to cure the problem of the A32. It needs to be extended into the town centre in Gosport and up to the M27 eastwards and westwards.’