MP backs Portsmouth-Southampton hovercraft plan

Victorious Festival. 
Picture: Paul Jacobs (142476-269)

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THE MP for Portsmouth South says Hovertravel’s bid to expand and provide a service between Portsmouth and Southampton has her ‘full support’.

Flick Drummond believes better connections between the two cities are vital if the Solent economy is to improve.
Mrs Drummond said: ‘Anything that improves connectivity between Southampton and Portsmouth has my full support.
‘Obviously, we are looking at the railway and light rail, but this is another way of looking at transport between the two cities. It’s a good idea.’
She added: ‘At the moment, our Gross Value Added (the measure of the value of goods and services produced in an area) is below what it should be.
‘It’s one of the reasons why I am so focused on improving transport. We need to improve that.
‘We are going to have all of these new houses and the M27 is chock-a-block.
‘We have got to find other ways of getting around.
‘The east/west connectivity, as well as going up to London, is important.
‘It attracts industry and investment.’
Councillor Mark Hook, the leader of Gosport Borough Council, has also backed the scheme.
He believes it is yet another way of getting more cars off the congested road network – but also believes it’s important that there are good onward travel connections wherever the hovercraft landing strips are created.
Cllr Hook said: ‘It think it would be a good step. As ever, it will depend on where the hovercraft will set off from and go to.
‘Connectivity at the other end is the important bit.
‘I would imagine in Portsmouth that the landing site would be near the interchange and it’s important that where it would end up in Southampton there is onward mobility.
‘So it’s worth looking into and hopefully will be feasible.
‘There are so many people in Gosport commuting daily for work.
‘If we can take some of those cars off the road, then that would help.
‘Anything that helps to reduce traffic on the road is a good thing.’