Motorists were caught in long traffic jams across Portsmouth today, made worse by works to a dockyard gate.
The Royal Navy started work on October 10 at Trafalgar Gate, leading to long traffic jams getting both in and out of the city.
Congestion was particularly bad on the M275, with queues just before lunchtime stretching from the Junction 12 intersection with the M27.
A spokeswoman from the navy said: ‘HM Naval Base Portsmouth is working very closely with Portsmouth City Council traffic management department as we are conscious we are contributing to the traffic problems within the city at peak times.
‘The situation has been exacerbated by a host of events and issues which are outside of the control of the Naval Base, including higher visitor numbers to the city during school half-term, leading to increased traffic volumes particularly around Gunwharf Quays and the Historic Dockyard, an extensive rail replacement bus service due to rail works at Fareham meaning increased levels of traffic on the roads with people choosing to drive rather than take the train, and continued industrial action from Southern Rail, again increasing the numbers of people choosing to drive into the city.’
The works at Trafalgar Gate will continue up until March 2017 ahead of the arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth.
The spokeswoman added: ‘This is limiting access/exit although it is hoped that this situation will improve in the coming weeks and the use of the gate will resume for exiting traffic at peaks times.’
The works will upgrade Trafalgar Gate to improve traffic flow ahead of the increase in traffic generated by the arrival of the Navy’s new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth next spring.
Christina Young, project manager for the works, said: ‘We will be monitoring the situation very closely.’
The upgrade to Trafalgar Gate includes improvements to the roundabout and new guard huts and fencing.