Building site that is set to become a crucial Gosport to Fareham bus route

SCHEME County councillor Mel Kendal at the BRT site.  Picture: Paul Jacobs (113982-1)
SCHEME County councillor Mel Kendal at the BRT site. Picture: Paul Jacobs (113982-1)
Miss JC Newbald is pictured with an assistant, Mrs G Cowd

THIS WEEK IN 1971: ‘Telling the world about Southsea’

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THE main road in and out of Gosport has become a nightmare for motorists over the years.

But in just a few months’ time, the brand new bus route which Hampshire County Council believes will transform life for commuters will be unveiled.

UNDERWAY Work at the BRT site

UNDERWAY Work at the BRT site

And yesterday, The News had an exclusive sneak preview of the £20m Bus Rapid Transit route which will run through an old railway line from Gosport through to Fareham.

Driving along the route in a jeep, it still looks like a building site.

But in a few months’ time buses will be shooting up and down the road.

The council hopes the scheme will encourage people to ditch their cars. And it looks set to be a quick journey.

The 2.17 mile route, which starts at Tichborne Way and runs through to Fareham train station and the bus station, has five stops and enables buses to travel at 40mph, which could take just minutes for passengers.

Councillor Mel Kendal, in charge of transport and environment matters for the council, said: ‘The A32 is a problem. It can’t be widened. You can’t dual it so we need public transport to enable people to get out of their cars and get some form of rapid transit.

‘To make that change isn’t easy. We are all creatures of habitat. To change the habits of a lifetime, something special is needed.

‘That’s why we are putting special buses on a special bus route.’

The Eclipse branded buses will be fitted with leather seats, wood effect flooring, internal display screens with travel information and free wifi in a bid to make the journey as comfortable as possible for passengers.

‘It’s a priority bus route with buses that are probably more comfortable than the average person’s car,’ he added.

‘I think the majority of people, in Gosport in particular, want the scheme.’

The scheme has been delayed by over a year as the result of a legal battle, but it is hoped to open in April.

‘We are probably a year behind where I would like us to be,’ added Cllr Kendal.

‘But I am delighted with the way in which the team and the contractors have gone about their task.’