Portsmouth City Council invests £15,000 in traffic lights upgrade in bid to ease congestion

Traffic queueing on the M275 into Portsmouth
Traffic queueing on the M275 into Portsmouth
Chirk Aqueduct and railway viaduct.

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A £15,000 piece of hi-tech kit has been bought to try to banish congestion in Portsmouth.

The city council has spent the money on technology enabling traffic signals on roads in and out of the 
city centre to be synchronised.

It means traffic lights on Church Street roundabout, Commercial Road North and Marketway can all be changed to green during busy periods to keep drivers moving.

Crossings in Commercial Road North and Marketway are also being upgraded with sensors to detect when pedestrians have reached the pavement to allow traffic to immediately carry on.

Councillor Ken Ellcome, the council’s Tory cabinet member for traffic and transport, said: ‘I’m delighted we have been able to add these enhancements for traffic within the city centre.

‘It will ensure we have the ability to keep everything flowing as much as possible and eliminate the stop-start nature of journeys which people have experienced previously.’

The moves comes after motorists ventured their fury over problems getting in and out of the city centre.

Many blame the introduction of a new bus lane and traffic lights at Rudmore roundabout to coincide with the opening of the park-and-ride service last year for major hold ups on the roads.

Similar technology is also being introduced on crossings at St Michael’s gyratory further into the city as part of a larger project to improve the area for traffic and pedestrians.

Traffic problems have also been blamed on increased security checks at the dockyard.

In November, staff on Whale Island said that heightened security checks had been brought in, although the MoD said that the security status had not been changed.

Speaking about the £15,000 investment, Cllr Donna Jones, leader of the council, said: ‘I want to stress to members of the public that we are doing all we can to try to ensure a constant and steady flow of traffic getting in and out of the city.

‘I’m hoping the new equipment we have invested in will mean people can get to and from work quicker.’