How can we fix our city’s traffic problem?

Traffic queues heading into Portsmouth this summer
Traffic queues heading into Portsmouth this summer
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More public transport services would be the biggest factor in encouraging people in Portsmouth to use their car less, The News Big City Survey has found.

Nearly four in 10 (38 per cent) respondents said more frequent services were needed, with 35 per cent saying they had to be cheaper if they were to choose to use them instead of their own vehicles.

Picture: Justin Lycett

Picture: Justin Lycett

The city council’s transport boss said changes were being made to the city’s public transport services to encourage people to use them more often.

The News launched the Big City survey in September and we asked residents to vote and give their views on a number of issues facing the city.

Speaking about the results, Councillor Simon Bosher — cabinet member for transport at Portsmouth City Council — said he was in discussions with bus firms about improving services.

He said: ‘Use of public transport in Portsmouth is growing significantly.

‘The city council spends £4.2 million a year on subsidised bus travel, including disabled bus passes for the elderly.

‘We spend an absolute fortune on that, and if you think about it in terms of the numbers of people using buses it is astronomical.’

Asked what would encourage them to use their car less, 21.21 per cent said more/safer cycling routes, 7.62 per cent said more park and ride services and 5.9 per cent suggested a congestion charge. Of the survey’s 1,221 respondents, nearly half (49.63 per cent) said they were stuck in traffic daily.

A further 23.34 per cent said they were caught in traffic ‘several times a week’ and 5.32 per cent said ‘once a week’.

Portsmouth City Council leader Councillor Donna Jones admitted the city’s public transport system was ‘under par’.

She said: ‘Substantial improvements need to be made across various forms of transport, maybe this could include a tram system or a monorail.

‘The only way to discourage use of cars is a better public transport system.’