Parking plan may help put Pompey in driving seat

Pompey are on to a winner by dangling the prospect of park-and-ride to transport chiefs desperate to rid Portsmouth's roads of gridlock.

A transport expert has said that offering up a park-and-ride scheme in Tipner – where the city council has long wanted to set up a 2,000-space car park and bus service – is a good way to get the latest Pompey stadium plan up and running.

Pompey have ditched the plan to build a new stadium at The Hard and are instead hoping to build a new 36,000-capacity ground at Horsea Island, just south of Port Solent.

Paul Watters, head of roads policy for the AA, told The News: 'Portsmouth can't afford any more congestion.

'The club realises if it can deliver the city a park-and-ride scheme it is a good selling point.

'It is a great bargaining chip for the club because a car park would be ideal to open up the city.'

Portsmouth city council's head of planning John Slater said it was possible the club could piggy-back on to the council's own proposals for a huge multi-use park-and-ride super car park.

'I envisage the club's park-and-ride spaces could be additional to ours but in the same place. We would have to work out how the spaces are allocated for people parking on match days and people wanting to go shopping in the city centre and how you would enforce it.

'A car park is a good way for them to generate income, say if one of the hospitals wanted somewhere for their staff to park or if they use the stadium as a concert venue.

'They will need to talk with local bus companies to see how likely this is going to be. But we will help them out every step of the way.'

Cllr Alex Bentley, who is responsible for transport in the city, said he supports the scheme but wants to see more detailed plans from the club as well as a well-thought-out traffic model.

He said: 'I am excited. I do not know how the finances stack up yet but this scheme seems to be viable.'

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