We are putting our money where our mouth is’ says Cllr Donna Jones, the Tory leader of Portsmouth City Council, regarding the newly-unveiled plans to help ease congestion on the city’s roads.
And not before time.
Spending £910,000 on a traffic signal control system sounds like a relatively small amount of money to implement a scheme which could have major benefits for our many thousands of road users.
The Microprocessor Optimised Vehicle Actuation (MOVA) has been used to great success in large urban areas such as London and Brighton, and has since become a popular choice to deal with traffic problems across the UK.
Major infrastructure projects are costly and should rightly be subjected to due diligence and be thoroughly scrutinised.
Lib Dem group leader, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson is right to call for the costs of this new hi-tech traffic light system to be looked at closely.
After all, one doesn’t have to look too far into the city’s past to see the spectre of the doomed bus tracker system that was implemented by the Lib Dems in summer 2004, only to be switched off for good in 2007 after being dogged by problems – and after the original cost had doubled from £2m to £4m.
We should also take care not to treat this as a magic bullet solution to all our traffic woes on the island – it may make improvements to journey times, but it is not going to solve everything.
The £1.8m works proposed for the Eastern Road Waterbridge should also be acted on sooner rather than later.
As one of the main arteries on and off Portsea, the impact of any works there need to be minimised.
These schemes are what we need in Portsmouth, but let’s see them soon – actions do indeed speak louder than words.