THE leader of Portsmouth City Council has said he is working to avoid any further traffic chaos ahead of more planned roadworks.
The Highways Agency has announced, on behalf of the contractor Colas, that work will be taking place to carry out bridge waterproofing and joint replacements on the M275.
It is due to take place over three weekends, starting on Friday, September 13, from 10pm on Fridays until 5.30am on Mondays.
Work will see the closure of the link road from the eastbound carriageway of the M27 at junction 12 to the southbound carriageway of the M275.
Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson said it’s vital the city doesn’t come to a grinding halt, like it did in June when hundreds of people became trapped in their cars for hours because of M275 roadworks.
He said: ‘Last time there was a problem, it was because there was only one lane going northbound out of the city. It meant you just couldn’t get out of the city.
‘What I have got Colas to agree is that whatever they do, there will be two lanes both incoming and outgoing – except at night. At night we can probably cope with one lane. But in the day time we can’t cope with just one lane southbound. Even if they have got weekend closures it will still be significantly less bad than it was on that terrible weekend.
‘It’s absolutely essential it doesn’t happen again. We can never have the whole city grinding to a halt because they have closed two or three lanes.
‘We will be working to try to make sure we don’t get a repeat.’
On Saturday, September 21, Pompey will be playing at home, which could see a big increase in traffic across the city.
John Cass, 70, from Twyford Avenue, is from the Tipner and Stamshaw Neighbourhood Forum. He said: ‘We have discussed this with Colas. They have assured us that they have procedures in hand. We have voiced these concerns.
‘It’s not only local. It has a general effect on businesses as a whole in Portsmouth.
‘Of course I am concerned, not only for me but for people getting about generally.’
There will also be road closures for 10 nights from Sunday, September 1 between 10pm and 6am. Diversions will be in place.
Nobody from Colas was available to speak to The News.