Clarence Pier could become new transport hub for Portsmouth

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CLARENCE Pier could become Portsmouth’s latest transport hub, under new plans being considered by the city council.

A redeveloped hovercraft terminal would be the centrepiece of the project although bus provision and increased sustainable transport options would also form part of the scheme.

The council has set aside £50,000 to carry out a feasibility assessment, according to a report considered by cabinet member for transport Lynne Stagg last week.

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Clarence Pier by Evan GoodwinClarence Pier by Evan Goodwin
Clarence Pier by Evan Goodwin

‘The new transport hub would enhance the transport services and infrastructure in and around the surrounding area of Clarence Pier,’ the report by council senior project manager Abi Kelly said. ‘The improvements would ensure better accessibility of the area as well as easing the transition between different transport modes across the site.’

Speaking at Cllr Stagg’s Thursday meeting she said it was hoped the project could be combined with future flood defences work in the area which is expected to take place in three or four years’ time.

Discussions around a refurbished or redeveloped hovercraft terminal have been held between the council, Hovertravel and NHS trusts who use the ferry to transport patients from the Isle of Wight.

Hovertravel said it was willing to combine the project with wider plans to revamp the area while the Isle of Wight NHS trust and ambulance service said the scheme would help improve the transition from the island to QA or Southampton General hospitals. The report said there was potential for ambulance parking to be included.

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‘Hovertravel currently work closely with the Isle of Wight NHS Trust ambulance service providing a fundamental service helping to transport patients to local hospitals, this offering is only enhanced by the collaborative work relationship between the Hovertravel and South Central Ambulance Service,’ the report added.

The council said an upgraded terminal would boost the city’s economy by encouraging more tourist visits.

Proposals to transform the area into a transport hub were included in the council’s Seafront Masterplan planning doucment which suggests the area around the pier.

Among the proposals being considered is the revamped terminal which would include the relocated public toilets and provide check-in facilities for hovercraft travellers alongside visitor information and commercial space.