Long traffic jams on Portsmouth’s Eastern Road could be history

REVAMP Eastern Road in Portsmouth is set to be widened.   Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (112963-2)
REVAMP Eastern Road in Portsmouth is set to be widened. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (112963-2)
The yacht being towed to Gosport. Credit: GAFIRS

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THE bottleneck at the bottom of the Eastern Road in Portsmouth is set to disappear as plans have been unveiled to widen the road.

Portsmouth City Council wants to replace the single carriageway between Swordsands Road and Velder Avenue with a dual carriageway to ease congestion where the two lanes go into one.

Letters have been sent to residents and if the council gets no objections, the £470,000 project could start as early as October.

The road is notoriously bad for drivers attempting to get in to the east side of the city, especially when Pompey are playing at Fratton Park or in the summer when hoards head to Eastney and the sea front.

The plan follows on from the recently-completed works to build a new link road to the naval base at the bottom of the M275, which has also tackled congestion.

Jason Fazackarley, the council’s cabinet member for traffic and transportation, said: ‘We’ve improved traffic flow on the western side of Portsmouth by measures like the new link road into the naval base.

‘Now we’re planning to improve the eastern route in to the city.

‘Our proposals would cut jams on the Eastern Road and Velder Avenue – improving life for people who live nearby and making drivers’ journeys into work quicker.’

The council is planning changes to the Velder Avenue junction with Milton Road, which will mean less time spent waiting for red lights to change.

The changes would involve modernising the pedestrian crossing across the Eastern Road near Kirpal Road and East Shore Way.

The traffic lights at the junctions with Kirpal Road and East Shore Way would be removed.

Instead, sensors would detect vehicles waiting to come out of these side roads, and the traffic lights on the pedestrian crossing would turn to red.

New crossings would be put in at the Velder Avenue junction, at points where there are none at present.

Cllr Fazackerley added: ‘The changes at the lights would make the junction operate a lot more smoothly, reducing queuing.

‘We’re planning to make these changes later this year or early next year.’

Residents living near to where the roadworks will be taking place are being asked for their views after a leaflet has been sent out by the council.

If there are objections, the plan will be discussed by the council’s cabinet and a decision would then be made on whether the works should go ahead.

If they can, the works will then begin in the new year.

Cllr Fazackerley said: ‘There would be some disruption during the work, but the result would be a better journey into the city.’

The leaflet, along with more details of traffic movements, is also available at portsmouth.gov.uk/living/.

Click on ‘Getting around’, then ‘Road improvements 2011/12’.

Anyone with queries can call (023) 9268 8020 or email cityhelpdesk@portsmouthcc.gov.uk by September 23.