We need to tackle this M275 woe - and soon

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Making a good first impression is something that – obviously – you only get one chance to do.

Whether it’s the first time you meet the person you end up marrying or the initial time you meet your boss, they can be times that you remember forever and colour your memories.

So it’s no wonder people are concerned about the image Portsmouth presents to visitors when, for those coming in along the M275, the first impression they get is one of gridlock and long delays.

This is hardly likely to leave people feeling good about our great city.

Whether it’s visitors coming to the city to shop or see our tourist attractions, or those who are here on business, the effect can only be negative.

And, as one driver tells us today, it’s enough to put them off coming at all.

Wendy Coates and her husband Richard are so sick of queuing that they’ve decided to go to Chichester instead.

And what is the root cause of this?

Well here’s where there’s some dispute.

The drivers believe it’s down to a shake-up of the lane structure around the Rudmore roundabout that gives priority to the park-and-ride bus service.

But the council says that it’s down to drivers hoping to skip any queue by going off the motorway and then rejoining straight away.

Whichever of these versions is true, the fact remains it’s something that needs to be sorted – and soon.

What’s pretty clear to everyone is that it’s not working as it is.

So whether it’s a tweak of the traffic light scheduling or something much more substantial, let’s hope it happens quickly before more damage is done to our city’s reputation.