I would like to support MP Flick Drummond’s comments in Tuesday’s Off the Fence column and also the letter from John Holland (City would benefit from speedy trains, October 27).
John Holland explains how a programme of relatively minor rail improvements could see 15 minutes lopped off the 90-minute journey to London from Portsmouth.
This is the philosophy of looking for ‘marginal gains’ described as ‘black box thinking’ by Mathew Syed in his recent book, and it also applies to Cllr Donna Jones’ study of bus lane flexibility using mobile camera evidence and MP Penny Mordaunt’s call for pilot studies and expert analysis in her ‘Action Plan’ for Portsmouth’s congestion problems.
MP Fick Drummond’s support for a Southern Powerhouse centred on Portsmouth is also a crucial issue.
Rather than a diffuse conglomerate of 15 Hampshire councils all getting their own piece of the financial cake, emphasis should be given to the potential of the M27 corridor as a strategically planned focus for the ‘Southern Powerhouse’ with better road and rail infrastructure to London and direct linkages to the new settlement pattern now taking shape.
We are getting an organic ‘Solent City’ region whether we like it or not.
We must insist that it is efficiently connected and coherently planned with proper green belts to prevent it becoming just a sprawling suburban conurbation, which it is threatening to do under its present lack of strategic management.
Sennen Place, Port Solent