City centre congestion: ‘I can see how it has got worse’ says Portsmouth council leader Donna Jones

Donna Jones
Donna Jones
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Portsmouth’s council leader says she insisted on changes to the controversial road layout because she saw for herself each day how jams had worsened.

Donna Jones said that the decision to shorten the bus lane for park and ride services heading south into Portsmouth was taken after councillors and city transport bosses toured the area in a minibus at rush hour in a bid to find solutions to the traffic issues.

Cllr Jones and fellow councillors Luke Stubbs, Ken Ellcome, and Frank Jonas joined transport officers in an assessment during the morning peak period on Thursday.

The council leader said: ‘I myself queue along the motorway every day and I can see how it has got worse. I want to say that we are listening to people and I am taking on what they have to say.

‘The problem is there has been change and people don’t like it – which I completely understand. So I really put my foot down.’

The new proposals are part of an ongoing plan to continue enhancing the M275 entrance to Portsmouth.

An overall strategy to revamp the road network in the city centre is in place and the next step will be a project to expand the capacity of Hope Street and make it the main route both in and out of the city.

The overall cost of this is still to be confirmed but a scheme is being prepared in anticipation of future funding opportunities becoming available from central government or regional bodies like the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership.