Cllr Lynne Stagg with a Park and Ride PR2 bus
Steps are being taken to reduce congestion on Portsmouth's roads with an extension to the city's park and ride service.
A proposal to allocate £350,000 is set to go forward to fund design work to increase the site's capacity by approximately 1000 additional spaces. The plan is to build a four to five floor multi-storey extension along the western side of the site, running parallel with the M275.
During the weekends and special events the park and ride site reaches near to full capacity. Expanding the site will enable more people to travel into Portsmouth sustainably and cater for the increased demand created by future developments in areas like the city centre.
The proposal is supported by the council's plans to improve air quality in the city. The expansion will further reduce the number of cars travelling into the city centre, improving congestion and reducing levels of vehicle pollution.
The funding is being recommended as part of Portsmouth City Council's capital budget which will go before the city's Cabinet and Full Council for approval in February. The capital budget invests in a range of infrastructure schemes throughout the city like buildings and facilities, rather than the day-to-day running of council services that have to be paid through a separate revenue budget.
Cllr Lynne Stagg, the council's Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation, said: "The Park and Ride is a vital part of our transport strategy for the city and I'm very pleased to see steps being made towards its expansion. Not only does it provide a first-class service that gets people in and out of the city in an environmentally friendly way, it also has the potential to help make future improvements sustainable by giving people a way to travel that won't block up the roads. Future development for the city centre could include a variety retail or leisure facilities, a bigger park and ride means people can enjoy these without the hassle of traffic and I hope my fellow councillors support this investment in our city's future."
The state-of-the-art Park and Ride is located on the M275 entrance to Portsmouth. Buses run seven days a week, every 15 minutes, Monday to Friday, in term time and on Sundays, and every ten minutes on Saturdays and during school holidays. Buses stop for Portsmouth International Port, Charles Dickens birthplace, city centre and The Hard for the Historic Dockyard and Gunwharf Quays.
In September a new PR2 service was launched, providing passengers with a more direct route to the city centre and university buildings, and in October the Park & Ride celebrated its one millionth customer.
Currently the car park has more than 650 parking spaces with priority parent and child and disabled parking spaces and two dedicated spaces with charging points for electric cars. The terminal building offers real-time bus departure information, accessible toilets and baby changing facilities.
The double-decker buses feature high-quality interiors, low floors for improved accessibility, next-stop announcements, information about attractions and free Wi-Fi.
For more information visit parkandride.portsmouth.gov.uk