Bus lane will be shortened to ease traffic congestion

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PART of a bus lane will be erased in a bid to ease congestion in Fareham.

Papers were signed off last week by the county council’s executive member of transport, Cllr Sean Woodward, which include the removal of part of the bus lane along the A27, a well-known bottleneck in the area.

As previously reported in The News, Cllr Woodward confirmed that the bus lane would be made a permanent fixture on the condition that a new lane is built to the side.

Many motorists will be pleased to learn that the plans include a 36m reduction in length of the bus lane on the A27 on the westbound approach to the Station Roundabout. This reduction will mean the approach will revert to two lanes for all traffic to reduce congestion at peak times.

Council officers said that the removal of this part of the bus lane was necessary while work is being completed on the new lane for safety reasons.

The Solent Local Transport Body agreed last week to bid for £5m worth of improvements to the roundabout via a grant from central government.

Two other schemes are also looking for money – The Hard in Portsmouth and the Station Quarter in Southampton.

Cllr Woodward said: ‘The removal of the bus lane and the creation of a new one will cost around £1m, and the next stage is the work to improve Station Roundabout.

‘The roundabout needs more lanes to improve the flow. This will take out the last pinch point on the Eclipse route and improves the A27 corridor.’

Fareham East ward councillor Paul Whittle supported the decision.

He said: ‘A lot of investment has gone into the west end of West Street, such as all the pavements being replaced. We are keen to encourage businesses in that part of Fareham so anything that makes access easier is a good thing.

‘Station Roundabout is becoming increasingly important for Fareham and it is good forward planning to help the flow of traffic in that part of town.’

Cllr Woodward added: ‘This will go some way to sorting out all those traffic problems which are pretty grim.

‘This work is critically for the success of the Solent Enterprise Zone and to improve infrastructure with us building Welborne.’

Work is expected to finish in 2016.