TRAFFIC flow and public transport in Portsmouth and Gosport is set to be 'significantly' improved with a £4m boost from government.
Portsmouth City Council announced it had successfully bid for the cash as part of the Transforming Cities Fund in a joint venture with Hampshire County Council.
Work will begin immediately to enhance transport links across the south of the county, with around £2.8m allocated for works in the city.
What will the money be spent on?
It will allow for cutting-edge technology at three major junctions in Portsmouth - Eastern Road with Havant Road, Copnor Road with Burrfields Road, and the Fratton Road, Lake Road and St Mary's Road junction.
This includes the use of MOVA (microprocessor optimised vehicle actuation) at signalled junctions that can detect and predict traffic flow to prevent congestion.
New bus lanes will also be installed with some priority given to them at traffic lights, and low level cycle signal heads will be installed to allow cyclists to move away from a junction before traffic green appears.
For Councillor Lynne Stagg, the council's transport boss, the cash was needed. 'A mass transit system requires a huge amount of work,' she said.
'This funding means we can start preparing for what will be a significant step change in public transport.
'Like many local authorities across the UK, we must improve air quality in Portsmouth. Having an efficient, effective and affordable public transport travel system is essential if we want to encourage more people out of their cars.'
Bus stops in Portsmouth and south Hampshire, which don't currently have 'real time' information displayed, will also be upgraded.
Around £1m will go towards extending the existing Eclipse bus route that will act as a more direct route into Gosport town.
‘Huge and positive impact on quality of life’
Head of environment and transport at Hampshire County Council, Cllr Rob Humby, said: 'Following feedback from the local community, we’ve been investigating the potential for an alternative design for the next phase of the Eclipse BRT extension in Gosport which would retain Rowner Bridge.
'I’m delighted that this will be one of the first things we will be able to do with the initial tranche of funding from our successful Transforming Cities Bid with Portsmouth City Council.
'We have made a commitment to the people of south Hampshire to improve traffic and travel in the wider area. The benefits of the capital investment to improve transport for all those who commute every day into Portsmouth will have a huge and positive impact on quality of life.'
This bid was just for the first part of the funding. The councils are now vying for a share of £1.28bn from government that is set to be split across 12 authorities.
This could mean an additional £100m or more for Portsmouth City Council and Hampshire County Council.
Bids will be made by June this year.