WE must eliminate road congestion in Portsmouth once and for all if this city is to ever reach its full potential.
That was the stark message from Penny Mordaunt as she unveiled an action plan to roll out new transport projects and find money to make urgent improvements to the strained traffic network.
It is no good just tinkering with things, we are a city that is booming with huge ambition for the future, so we have got to have some substantial mitigation schemes in place to reduce the impact that will have on people’s quality of life.Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt
Details of the plan, which the Portsmouth North MP went over with roads minister Andrew Jones, include:
n Drafting in a ‘hit squad’ of officials who have solved similar problems in other cities to see if they could bring new transport schemes to Portsmouth.
n Ensuring Portsmouth is put ‘top of the list’ for any pilot schemes, including the expansion of bus services, encouraging cycling, bringing in more lorry and van parks or by expanding the park-and-ride to outside the city.
n Providing greater support to the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership and the council when they pitch for cash to set up schemes like a water taxi service or a ‘Boris Bike’ system.
Speaking to The News, Ms Mordaunt said: ‘The main point of the meeting with Andrew Jones was about congestion and parking problems in the city, and unless we really tackle these problems then we are never going to how to allow the city to reach its full potential.
‘We have all these wonderful things happening in the city, but if we cannot get people to come here or to want to work here then there is no point.
‘We went through the problems and I talked through the findings of my own traffic and transport reports and some of the plans that we have already got for the city, such as Portsmouth City Council initiatives like boosting cycling.
‘I wanted to ensure that we have enough momentum on these issues and enough help from the Department of Transport to be able to deliver and come up with schemes that will crack the problem.
‘It is no good just tinkering with things, we are a city that is booming with huge ambition for the future, so we have got to have some substantial mitigation schemes in place to reduce the impact that will have on people’s quality of life and that could stunt the city’s growth.’
Ms Mordaunt, who met with LEP bosses yesterday to talk more about bidding for
government grants, added: ‘I want to make sure the guys at the Department of Transport are focused on alleviating the pressures of Portsmouth.
‘It is the top issue that will stifle economic growth and the quality of life for residents.’
Ms Mordaunt also wants noise barriers put in at Port Solent to cut down motorway noise.