Fresh criticism of Portsmouth road layout

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A video of cars queueing to get into Portsmouth city centre has provoked fresh criticism of a new road layout.

Changes were made to the southern end of Mile End Road when Portsmouth’s park and ride service was introduced earlier this year.

Traffic lights on Rudmore Roundabout and a new bus lane along Mile End Road and on the Church Street (ABC) Roundabout were put in to coincide with the launch of the city’s new park-and-ride service last April.

The city council said that the changes were necessary in order to allow the new service to work efficiently, but they immediately drew criticism from some.

Several drivers complained at the time that the new system, with multi-use lanes reduced from three to two to accommodate one for buses, worsened the traffic flow for private vehicles.

And video taken at midday on Boxing Day, as people headed into Portsmouth for the sales and Pompey’s match at Fratton Park, shows how drivers travelling south alongside the Estella Road flats have to edge out into heavy traffic on Mile End Road itself in order to avoid the bus lane.

Several readers on The News Facebook page criticised the road layout.

Sofi Cosh said: ‘Accident waiting to happen in a daily basis. Needs much clearer direction or sign posting.’

Kerry Brown added: ‘Traffic was already chaotic and now 10 times worse!’

And Mark Anthony Higgs said: ‘Anyone would think that the council have chevroned off the bottom of the M275 on purpose. “Oooh, look at all the traffic going in to Portsmouth, let’s go into the struggling park and ride instead.”’

Jonathan David said the system caused huge queues. ‘Used to be three lanes going into Portsmouth but now they force everyone to merge into two lanes’ he said. ‘Traffic is ridiculous now, I’ve even seen queues back to the M27.’

Josephine Carse complained that the layout effectively discriminated against drivers from the city itself. ‘It is the most ridiculous piece of road layout’ she said. ‘It is dangerous and I’m surprised that there hasn’t been an accident yet. This is PCC at its worst pandering to the buses, yet again. The people who use the P and R are generally from out of town yet the residents are the ones who suffer with the queuing.’

Valerie Shaw said the queues would lead to shoppers going elsewhere. ‘The old way was much better, so why if it’s not broke why does someone always want to fix it?’ she asked. ‘Bit of someone has too much spare time at work, jobs worth!!!! Driving visitors to Southampton and Chichester - that’s all Pompey needs!’