THE park and ride in Portsmouth is set for a major expansion.
Proposals are being considered to create a second level on the car park at Tipner.
It is something that is now in the planning stages and comes off the fact that the park and ride is very successful at the moment.Councillor Simon Bosher, cabinet member for transport
It follows what’s been described as a ‘very successful’ period of time.
Between last November and this April, 95,269 passengers boarded the service in the period.
Under the scheme, another storey would be built above a portion of the existing parking spaces, with Portsmouth City Council also looking into the idea of increasing its number of electric charging points.
There are currently 770 parking spaces – two with charging points.
And the plan would be part of the city’s strategy to tackle poor levels of air quality.
Cllr Simon Bosher, the council’s new cabinet member for transport, told The News of the proposals.
He said: ‘We’re looking into making the park and ride a multi-storey now.
‘It’s something that is now in the planning stages and comes off the fact that the park and ride is very successful at the moment.’
The service – which connects Tipner to The Hard and Gunwharf Quays was launched to cut down on the level of cars in the city centre and help tackle air pollution.
A report last summer found that on four occasions air quality in Portsmouth had exceeded the nitrogen dioxide guideline set by the government and the EU of 40 micrograms per cubic metre.
Portsmouth was named one of 38 councils with one or more roads exceeding NO2 legal limits.
Low Emission Zones – where drivers pay fees to enter with certain vehicles – have been proposed elsewhere in the country.
But Cllr Bosher said it was unlikely that an LEZ could be introduced in Portsmouth.
He said: ‘The idea is definitely off the table at the moment.’
But about the park and ride he added: ‘We’re in the very early stages at the moment and a design would need working out but we are indeed talking about expansion.’
Cllr Lynne Stagg, opposition transport spokeswoman said bringing in the multi-storey ‘was always the plan’.
She said: ‘When we first developed the idea for the park-and-ride, it was always the plan to make it a multi-storey.’
Cllr Stagg added she was the councillor to first bring the idea to the floor as former cabinet member for transport and added that it had been a ‘partial success’ since it had opened.
She said: ‘It has done very well doing the weekend but there are not enough people using it to get to work during the week.’
The councillor suggested building a second park and ride to the north of the city by Farlington could help before adding that a LEZ would not work in the city.
She added: ‘Portsmouth does not have a good enough shopping centre and I do not think some people would want to pay just to be able to use the roads to get into work.’
Alan Cufley, director for transport at the city council said: ‘We welcome the principles around clean air zones, however, its appropriateness and effectiveness with respect to our particular local circumstances continues to be investigated.’