Portsmouth coronavirus testing: How to get there, Park and Ride, how to get in, people getting lost

KEY workers driving into Portsmouth have found themselves arriving in the wrong place.

Monday, 27th April 2020, 3:49 pm
Updated Monday, 27th April 2020, 8:24 pm

The coronavirus testing facility in Portsmouth is open for NHS and healthcare workers across the region, at the lorry park in Tipner West, which was initially set up in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

But those arriving in Portsmouth for testing have instead been parking up in Tipner Lane, after being given incorrect directions.

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Testing facility for Covid-19 is set up in Portsmouth

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Drone pictures of the Covid-19 testing facility in Tipner West, Portsmouth. Picture: Solent Sky Services

The facility is being run by Sodexo, after a government contract was given to them through Deloitte.

When booking an appointment, people are being given the postcode PO2 8RA – which takes them up to a dead-end at the top of the road.

This has meant it’s been up to local residents to point people in the right direction.

Adrian Ramsden, 50 from Tipner Lane, said: ‘We are getting literally hundreds of cars down this tiny, narrow road every single day.

Adrian Ramsden, from Tipner Lane, with his sign directing people to the coronavirus testing facility. Picture: Supplied

‘We even had a medical lorry turn up this morning – it’s been an absolute nightmare.

‘These people are travelling from the far end of Dorset just to get tested, the least we should be doing is giving them the right address.’

Leader of Portsmouth City Council, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, says the council is putting pressure on Sodexo to get the issue sorted.

He said: ‘We’ve told them [Sodexo] that they’ve put the wrong postcode on the booking system, but they haven’t changed it.

‘We have put signs up to point people in the right direction, but it’s rather frustrating that people are being sent to the wrong location.’

When getting a coronavirus test in Portsmouth, people need to first check in at the Park and Ride in Tipner Lane, PO2 8AN.

According to Cllr Vernon-Jackson, people are then led across in their cars, in groups of 10.

He said: ‘The first thing you must do is turn up at the Park and Ride; people are meant to go there first.

‘It’s not their fault of course – they’ve just been given an incorrect route.

‘If you drive straight to the testing facility though, you will be turned back around.’

Sodexo has been contacted by The News for comment.