Bus route extension into Gosport has been set back

The BRT service operates in and out of Gosport
The BRT service operates in and out of Gosport
Police at the scene near Waddesdon 810054fd-364c-4ef5-84d3-89d35d70

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AN EXTENSION to a rapid bus route designed to make travelling between Fareham and Gosport quicker has been delayed.

The extension to the Bus Rapid Transit route was meant to be completed this year but has been put back as it did not secure funding.

The route, which uses a traffic-free busway to avoid the A32, was due to be extended further into Gosport so that commuters could get directly to the ferry.

The delay has angered passengers of the buses, known as the Eclipse, who say their commute times would be drastically improved by the extension.

Holly Blake, 29, from Gosport said: ‘It would be much better if there was a direct link.

‘It’s rubbish that they’re delaying it. They’re always delaying important things.’

Erin Panter, 34, from Gosport, said: ‘Where I work in Alverstoke there is only one bus every two hours. I end up stranded there for hours. The new route would be great and make it so much easier.’

Stuart Pennick, 21, from Fareham, said: ‘I’d use it and lots of other people would too. It is disappointing.’

But councillor Sean Woodward, executive member for transport at Hampshire County Council, said that despite the funding issue the plan was still to progress the route.

He said: ‘It needs funding to extend it down into Gosport.

‘We have, however, made good progress in terms of infrastructure programmes in Fareham and Gosport, such as Newgate Lane South and North, the A27 and the Stubbington bypass.

‘We can only deliver so much at any one time. We’ve never been so busy in terms of new road schemes in Hampshire. It is a matter of capacity.’

Mark Hook, leader of Gosport Borough Council, said: ‘We are extremely grateful for the £24m that has already been invested but it would’ve been good to see the route improved.

‘The delay is disappointing but when it does come in, it will be a boost improving traffic in the town.’

After the route has been extended into Gosport, the next phase will see it connect to new town Welborne, north of Fareham, and then eventually through to Whiteley and Portsmouth.

The service started in April 2013 and has led to 16 per cent more people using buses in the area.