Portsmouth receives more than £26m to revamp bus routes and cycle paths
BUS journeys, cycle paths and walking routes will all see a major overhaul over the next three years, after the council secured a multi-million pound funding deal.
Portsmouth City Council has been given more than £26m from the government’s Transforming Cities Fund – and has now planned nine projects to improve travel across the city.
It is hoped that these projects will not only lessen congestion on popular bus routes, but make walking and cycling through Portsmouth easier.
Councillor Lynne Stagg, Portsmouth City Council’s cabinet member for traffic and transportation, said: ‘These city schemes are a vital part of our emerging Local Transport Strategy and go a long way in providing greener, safer and healthier journeys for Portsmouth residents.
‘It’s really exciting, especially when you consider how bus routes are already getting busy in Portsmouth – the number two bus from The Hard to Queen Alexandra Hospital is a particularly packed route.
‘This investment means we are able to make significant progress with our plan to deliver a network of rapid transit services in the area.’
As part of the project, buses will be given priority access at projects in both the north and south of the city centre, including Rudmore roundabout and Lake Road.
It is hoped that journey times – particularly to and from Fareham, Havant and Waterlooville – could be reduced by as much as 20 per cent.
Cycle routes will also be improved around Anchorage Road and Goldsmith Avenue, with improvements to footpaths around Fratton Bridge.
Over the three-year funding period, First Bus and Stagecoach say they will buy 29 new low-emission buses for the Portsmouth region.
Edward Hodgson, managing director of Stagecoach, said: ‘Public transport has a vital role to play in driving our local economy whilst helping solve air quality challenges and protecting our environment.
‘This investment is great news for Portsmouth and south-east Hampshire and we look forward to delivering the exciting public transport improvements included in the bid.’
Marc Reddy from First Bus added: ‘We are delighted that the area has been recognised for this investment and look forward to continuing our successful partnership approach in helping to make bus services more attractive.’