Picture shows dramatic transformation under way at The Hard

The new Interchange building progress Picture: Shaun Roster
The new Interchange building progress Picture: Shaun Roster
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THIS aerial picture captures the dramatic £7m changes at The Hard in Portsea.

The photograph by Shaun Roster shows work to transform the site, home to the bus station.

Artist's impression published by Portsmouth City Council

Artist's impression published by Portsmouth City Council

Work began to make the interchange more efficient and more welcoming in Autumn 2015.

Extensive work was required to the concrete deck and supporting structure as the site is on a pier.

The project cost around £7m and includes £2m from Portsmouth City Council and £4.8m from the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). It is expected to be complete in May.

Cllr Jim Fleming, Portsmouth City Council’s cabinet member for traffic & transportation, has hailed the close work between the council and Network Rail during their separate projects at The Hard.

The council is currently in the final stages of building a £7m transport interchange on the site while at the same time Network Rail has invested £7m in maintaining the structure supporting the adjacent Portsmouth Harbour Station.

Cllr Fleming said: ‘We have spent two years working very closely with Network Rail and Southwest Trains to make sure our projects could be delivered side by side while minimising the impact on residents and disruption for those travelling through the area.

‘It’s been a collaborative approach with everyone keen to make this key gateway into the city as attractive as possible. As well as building a state-of-the-art new transport interchange we’ve also worked with Network Rail to improve the surfacing on part of their site.

‘There have also been ongoing discussions about whether there could be improvements to the train station as well. That’s a decision for Network Rail and Southwest Trains to make but a key theme throughout all of our conversations with them has been the desire to look at improving everything within that interchange site, for all modes of transport, and I’m hopeful they will continue to work towards this.’

A city council spokeswoman said: ‘The Hard is hugely important to Portsmouth as a transport interchange.

‘It is a site where bus, train and ferry services come together and for many people it is the first thing they see when arriving in the city.

The old interchange was not suitable for modern transport requirements and work began in Autumn 2015 to build a brand new interchange and redesign the site layout to make much better use of the space and make it safer for all people using the area. The concrete deck and supporting structure also needed maintenance work.’