THE MAIN road into Portsmouth will have its speed reduced due concerns about port traffic fears after Brexit.
A section of the M275 will be reduced to 40mph as part of Portsmouth City Council’s traffic management plan.
Portsmouth City Council’s website says: ‘For Portsmouth, our focus is to manage potential traffic congestion caused by extra checks at the port, and its effect on surrounding communities and roads.
‘Plans are in place to ensure the smooth running of operations. We are working hard to ensure lorries are processed and directed quickly so roads are kept clear of congestion.
‘For drivers' safety we will be reducing the speed limit to 40mph on part of the M275, for as long as needed.
‘At certain times, we are expecting the M275 area of the city will be busier than normal so if you need to travel in this area, plan your journey and allow more time.’
A reduced speed limit was put in place on the M275 last night as three nights of work to install signs and lorry checkpoints began.
The plan for Portsmouth is a lorry checkpoint on the park-and-ride slip road, with lorries that are approved forwarded on to the port via the motorway.
Meanwhile any lorries with a longer wait or a need for further paperwork checks will be diverted to the new lorry park off the motorway at Tipner.
Only the new 40mph speed limit will affect southbound vehicles other than lorries, but there may be changes to park and ride journey times as lorries use the bus lane.
This week Portsmouth’s port director, Mike Sellers, renewed calls for the city to be given more cash to prepare in case of a no-deal Brexit becomes, saying government had not been taking concerns seriously.
The Local Resilience Forum, made up of emergency services, local government and NHS organisations, has been working on post-Brexit traffic plans.
A statement released yesterday said: ‘[The forum has] carefully considered the potential local impacts of a no-deal exit, concluding that the biggest problem anticipated is traffic congestion resulting from delays to cross-Channel ferries at Portsmouth International Port, especially if some hauliers try an alternative route to Dover, which could have knock-on effects across the county.
‘A comprehensive traffic management plan has therefore been developed to reduce the potential impact on local roads in the area.’
Hampshire County Council is also carrying out in Winchester to set up an area for holding freight vehicles going to Portsmouth International Port.
It will be set up on a 5km stretch of the A31 dual carriageway, between Winchester and Alresford.
Portsmouth City Council said any changes made in our area will be reversed if a Brexit deal is reached or a further extension to Article 50 is agreed with the European Union.
To minimise congestion, it also said changes made in reaction or preparation to any scenario will be carried out at night.
Unless it is pushed back, a no-deal Brexit would occur on Friday.