Bid goes in for £60m roads plan for city centre

Proposed changes to Market Way and the M275
Proposed changes to Market Way and the M275
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A £60m roads scheme that could transform the gateway to Portsmouth has taken a step forward.

A planning application has gone in for a new road layout in the city centre.

The plan would turn Hope Street and Flathouse Road into a dual carriageway to help funnel both northbound and southbound traffic quicker through Portsmouth.

Alongside this, both Market Way and Church Street roundabouts would be replaced by traffic signal junctions, with a new public square or marketplace developed at the top of Commercial Road.

And the submitted plans include a improvements made following feedback received from a public consultation run during October and November.

Changes include improved and purpose-built cycle routes through the city centre, a new cycle route on the eastern side of the proposed dual-carriageway, improved access to Victory Retail Park and improved access to car parks in Church Street.

The city council-led proposals aim to open up a number of sites for future development.

Council leader Cllr Donna Jones, said: ‘Submitting a planning application is a significant step for this scheme and moves us closer to securing vital government funding. Once we have completed the planning process we will have a viable scheme and that will make our project much more attractive to government.

‘This scheme is vital for the growth of the city and will bring huge benefits for residents and businesses alike, as it will be the catalyst for major regeneration including new leisure facilities, shops, homes and office space.

‘As well as making the area a nicer place to work live and visit, realigning the main route into the city centre will allow easy access to the whole of the area and open up a number of sites for future development by the private sector with the potential for around £500m of investment to come into Portsmouth.’

The authority is expecting to pay for around a quarter of the £60m and is bidding for government funding for the rest. The road plan is part of a wider proposal that the council says could see new homes, office space, retail and leisure developments, and the creation up to 9,600 new permanent jobs.

If approved and funding is secured, work could commence on site by 2019.