A bus scheme could work, but when would we get it?

Getting people out of their cars and into public transport is never going to be an easy task.

Tuesday, 12th January 2016, 7:56 am

It’s all well and good telling people – actually getting people to do it is the hard part.

We are, quite simply, a nation addicted to our cars. For many of us, our car is not deemed to be a luxury, it is a vital part of our everyday lives.

In America car-pooling lanes have proved successful in reducing congestion.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

But the creation of extra lanes is a luxury we don’t have in most of the UK, and particularly around Portsmouth where space is already at a premium.

Congestion fees have also been mentioned, but that would more be political suicide for any party that tried it.

The creation of a new bus rapid transit scheme in Portsmouth is perhaps a more realistic and attainable goal.

However, even that could be many years down the line.

Just look at how long it took and how many false starts there were in getting the Fareham-to-Gosport stretch implemented.

While it may now be heralded as a success, it was a long time coming and underwent many revisions – for years it was to be a tram-based project – before arriving in its current form.

And there was much talk at the time of the Fareham-Gosport route being phase one of a much wider scheme that would stretch across south Hampshire, with Fareham acting as a transport hub. This too has gone rather quiet.

With our councils telling us how strapped they are for cash, and grants from central government for major infrastructure projects more hotly competed for than ever, it would probably not be wise to hold your breath waiting for a Portsmouth BRT scheme to arrive.

We would love to be proved wrong on that – because the city does need help to alleviate the pressure on its roads.