Motorists ‘trapped for hours’ in Gunwharf Quays car park

Gunwharf Quays
Gunwharf Quays
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SCORES of people have been left ‘trapped’ in their cars for hours as roadworks and rail works hit Portsmouth’s streets.

There are a number of roadworks happening across the city, compounded by an increase in visitors during school half-term and rail replacement buses due to work happening at Fareham.

And the navy is conducting work to Trafalgar Gate, which is forcing thousands of dockyard workers out of Unicorn Gate.

Joy Williams was stuck in the Gunwharf Quays underground car park for hours.

The pensioner was marking her 71st birthday with her family, including her four young grandchildren, ahead of her going into hospital for surgery.

She said the experience spoilt the day as it took three hours to get out, eventually seeing them ditch their cars and going back for food in the centre.

Joy, from Hilsea, said: ‘People were sitting there with their cars running, filling the car park with fumes, and it didn’t move at all.

‘We were sat there for three hours waiting.

‘The man on the car park said it was because it was gridlocked outside.’

James Elliott, from Cosham, also experienced the traffic.

He said that people were waiting more than an hour to get out of the car park.

Colin Wilding, general manager at Gunwharf Quays, said: ‘We’re very sorry that visitors have been encountering delays in leaving our car park.

‘Our car park is permanently manned and our attendants will continue to support customers over the weekend.

‘We advise visitors to plan their journeys and make the most of park-and-ride services or public transport.’

Deputy leader of Portsmouth City Council Luke Stubbs said: ‘If the navy chooses to undertake major work then there is very little that we can do.

‘I hope they can complete these works as quickly as possible.’

A spokeswoman from the Royal Navy said: ‘We are working very closely with the city council traffic management department as we are conscious we’re contributing to the traffic problems.

‘The situation has been exacerbated by a host of events and issues which are outside of the control of the Naval Base.’

The works at Trafalgar Gate will continue until March 2017. They are being carried out to cope with an increase of traffic ahead of the arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth next spring.