A NEW road link aims to make sitting in traffic queues at the Quay Street roundabout a thing of the past.
A short strip of road called a ‘bus gate’, to be opened today, will allow buses going between Fareham and Gosport to avoid the roundabout and save time.
Hampshire County Council executive member for transport, Councillor Sean Woodward, said buses that would use the gate included the Eclipse buses E1 and E2 as well as the X4 and the 4A.
Cllr Woodward said: ‘There are hundreds of buses that will be using the bus gate instead of the Quay Street roundabout.
‘That’s going to help motorists who won’t be stuck behind them on the roundabout and also help the bus services to increase their reliability.’
Cllr Woodward added the gate was a new section of road several yards long which would connect Fareham Bus Station to Western Way.
‘It’s a piece of road that only buses can use and it will mean that buses can come in and out of there instead of getting tangled up in what can be a pretty congested roundabout,’ he said.
Cllr Woodward, who is also the leader of Fareham Borough Council, said the gate would allow bus drivers to keep to their schedules more accurately.
He said: ‘It will help significantly with rush-hour congestion on what is a key route in south Hampshire.’
He added the bus gate cost ‘a couple of hundred thousand pounds’ and was part of a £1m scheme to improve Western Way.
He also added the next step was to build a separate road for buses to travel westbound parallel to Western Way.
This would mean an existing bus lane on the carriageway could be given over to general traffic.
Initial work has started on the bus road and the project should be finished by the end of this year.
Cllr Woodward said: ‘The accommodation works including getting rid of trees and fences and dealing with the utilities has already started and the main works will start in a few weeks time.
‘The bus lane is still here on Western Way which is causing a large tailback with cars who have to sit there and look at an empty bus lane.
‘When the project is finished the buses will be off Western Way altogether.’
The Quay Street roundabout opened in November, 2011.