Portsmouth residents are being asked to give their views to help shape the future of public transport in South East Hampshire.
A new travel survey has been launched this week to support an ambitious bid to the government's Transforming Cities Fund.
Working in partnership with Hampshire County Council and Isle of Wight Council, the Portsmouth city region bid proposes to improve public transport by introducing rapid transit to Portsmouth and surrounding areas.
Centred on a network of bus-priority routes, South East Hampshire Rapid Transit aims to make it easier, quicker and more reliable for people to travel in the area using public transport. Rapid transit routes, which are more direct than local bus routes, will better connect with rail services, local bus services, walking and cycling routes, and local waterborne transport. The proposal also relies on the introduction of low-emission vehicles, easy to use tickets, real time information and attractive waiting facilities to improve the customer experience and encourage greater public transport travel.
The survey, which runs from Monday 16th September until Sunday 13th October, will allow greater insight into how people currently travel around Portsmouth's five travel to work areas featured in the proposal: Gosport, Fareham, Havant, Waterlooville and Ryde. The survey also asks respondents to give their views on the proposed system.
Responses from the survey will be used to inform the Strategic Outline Business Case (the bid document required by the Department for Transport) which is due for submission on the 28th November.
Councillor Lynne Stagg, Portsmouth's Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation and co-chair of the South East Hampshire Rapid Transit Board, comments. "We are working on a proposal which will hopefully improve the way people travel in Portsmouth using public transport. Our plans are ambitious so it is absolutely imperative that the new rapid transit system meets the needs of the people who will use it.
The way people travel in around Portsmouth is important to us. Their views will help make a difference and will inform our proposals so I encourage everyone to take part, however they travel around the city."
Councillor Rob Humby, Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment at Hampshire County Council, said: “Good transport infrastructure is vital to the economic prosperity of any area, and capital investment to improve transport options for all those who commute every day into Portsmouth can have a huge and positive impact on quality of life. The Eclipse rapid transit route which we established between Fareham and Gosport has successfully encouraged people to leave their cars at home – in a survey of 1000 passengers, 24% said they had a car available for the journey but chose to use the Eclipse route. We’re really keen to hear from people about what they think of these proposals to improve public transport, air quality and congestion in the areas where they live and work.”
Respondents who are keen to get involved with the development of the rapid transit scheme are encouraged to sign up to a new customer panel via the survey.
To take the survey visit: bit.ly/SEHRT . The survey closes at 11:59pm on Sunday 13th October 2019.