Portsmouth MP: "Clear progress" made on Fratton bridge project as Pompey’s Andrew Cullen and Network Rail meet

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Constructive talks were held in parliament between Andrew Cullen and Network Rail bosses over the Fratton bridge project.

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan hosted the summit in parliament to try and pave a way forward for the plans. The club have long held the view that a new bridge at Fratton Railway Station is necessary for the supporters' safety, and to facilitate the multi-million pound expansion of Fratton Park's North Stand.

Portsmouth South MP Stepehn Morgan set up a summit in Parliament between the bosses at Network Rail and Pompey CEO Andrew Cullen over the construction of a new footbridge at Fratton Railway Station. Portsmouth South MP Stepehn Morgan set up a summit in Parliament between the bosses at Network Rail and Pompey CEO Andrew Cullen over the construction of a new footbridge at Fratton Railway Station.
Portsmouth South MP Stepehn Morgan set up a summit in Parliament between the bosses at Network Rail and Pompey CEO Andrew Cullen over the construction of a new footbridge at Fratton Railway Station. | Contributed

"I was pleased to convene this important meeting in Parliament between the leadership of Network Rail and Portsmouth Football Club to progress discussions on how we can work together to improve infrastructure links to Fratton Park," Mr Morgan said. Fans have raised their own concerns with Mr Morgan about travelling along Goldsmith Avenue on matchdays, stating the route gets too overcrowded at peak times.

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The Labour politician previously said the current infrastructure is not fit for purpose to facilitate safe travel to the stadium. During the summit itself, Mr Cullen made the case for the new footbridge to be built, outlined the worries of some supporters and called on Network Rail to play their part in delivering the project.

Mr Morgan said he hopes the latest meeting will be a step closer to the bridge project becoming a reality. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 050522-25)Mr Morgan said he hopes the latest meeting will be a step closer to the bridge project becoming a reality. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 050522-25)
Mr Morgan said he hopes the latest meeting will be a step closer to the bridge project becoming a reality. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 050522-25) | Chris Moorhouse (jpns 050522-25)

The transport body said they were committed to supporting in kind and would continue to work alongside Mr Morgan, Portsmouth City Council (PCC), local landowners and the club itself. Mr Morgan added: "With commitment at the highest level, there is clear progress towards our shared goal to deliver the regeneration Fratton station and the surrounding area needs and deserves. I will continue doing all that I can to turn this ambition into reality."

The saga over the bridge project has been rumbling on for several months, with hopes remaining that a walkway between the station and The Pompey Centre can be constructed. The project hinges on a feasibility study and its funding. All parties - including Pompey itself, PCC, Network Rail and local developers - were all asked to chip in £15,000 (£60,000 in total) towards it.

This caused a rift after chairman Michael Eisner said the public sector body should contribute financially to the project, leading to a disagreement. At the time, Network Rail said they were disappointed with Mr Eisner's comments. Mr Morgan previously said the study is essential for the project to receive planning permission through the council. The politician is holding regular forums between those involved to progress the infrastructure plans.

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