Work is due to start on 21 schemes in 18 locations, after just over 4,700 people took part in consultations organised by Portsmouth City Council, Hampshire County Council and Isle of Wight Council, focused on ways to make travel by bus and bike quicker, safer, and easier across Portsmouth, Fareham, Gosport, Havant, and the Isle of Wight.
Schemes designed to improve the ability for people to travel by foot, bus and bicycle are starting to be delivered, including nine in Portsmouth, eight in Hampshire and four on the Isle of Wight.
Since securing £56m in funding from the government’s Transforming Cities Fund (TCF) in 2020, Portsmouth City Council, Isle of Wight Council and Hampshire County Council have been working on improving bus infrastructure, walking, and cycling as part of the South East Hampshire Rapid Transit (SEHRT) programme.
Once complete, all of these improvements will work together to make it easier for people to get to and from Portsmouth and surrounding areas by bus, bike and on foot. This will make it simpler for people to choose healthier, more active ways to travel, helping to reduce congestion and emissions from private vehicles and improve air quality, as well as promote physical and mental wellbeing.
In Portsmouth, work has started on Rudmore Roundabout in Stamshaw to extend the bus lane on Mile End Road back to the roundabout. At the same time, the northbound lane from the roundabout on to the M275 will be widened. This will allow more traffic to exit the port more quickly, thereby reducing congestion and as a result cutting down traffic jams back to the Lake Road roundabout. Once work is completed on these sections, the roundabout and surrounding slip roads will be resurfaced, lane markings will be improved and footpaths and cycle paths around the roundabout will be made safer. When all improvements are made, they will make travel quicker and easier for buses and other traffic and are expected to be completed by mid-November 2022.
Cllr Lynne Stagg, Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation at Portsmouth City Council said:
“It’s fantastic to see the ideas and improvements start to become reality, starting with this busy roundabout at the entrance to the city. Portsmouth is at the centre of these plans to build a more connected public transport network, and I look forward to seeing more people choosing to travel by bus and bike once the works are completed.”
On the Isle of Wight, Ryde Interchange is an important travel hub linking the island to Portsmouth. Currently, residents and visitors can see work taking place to build a new bus terminal, as well as to create a safer environment for people walking, cycling, and using public transport. These steps will make it easier for travellers to connect to wider routes across the Island and mainland.
Other key elements of the wider project include the transformation of the disused tramway into a pedestrian boardwalk by Wightlink, and refurbishment of the terminal building, including new accessible toilets and expanded concessions, being delivered by South Western Railway.
Councillor Phil Jordan, Cabinet Member for Transport and Infrastructure at Isle of Wight County Council, said:
“As part of the project, which includes the facilities and connectivity for cyclists, pedestrians, bus, and rail users as well as Wightlink FastCat passengers, the interchange gateway will be improved enormously.
“Including better connectivity and promoting active travel, the project also aims to make the interchange a larger, more pleasant and improved public space for those arriving and leaving from the gateway in Ryde, and it will enhance the area as a destination in itself for those wishing or needing to dwell.”
Hampshire County Council is working on schemes across eight locations, including Fareham, Portchester, Havant and Gosport.
Cllr Edward Heron, Executive Lead Member for Transport and Environment Strategy at Hampshire County Council, said:
“This is good news for residents and businesses. These schemes are in line with the Government’s ambition to encourage residents to leave the car at home and make greater use of public transport or to cycle or walk for their local journeys. Within this Transforming Cities Fund programme, we will be developing new and enhancing existing facilities and networks with the aim of encouraging greater use of public transport.”
Further work by Hampshire County Council taking place in 2023 includes the provision of a new bus interchange at Gosport, which centres around constructing a new site for the bus station, connecting services with those at the ferry terminal and the high-quality Eclipse bus rapid transit services, improvements to walking and cycling facilities along Elmleigh Road in Havant, better connecting Havant town centre, rail and bus stations with South Downs National College and the National Cycle Route 22, and bus priority improvements at Portchester.
Detailed and up to date information on all the works ongoing or due to begin shortly can be found at www.sehrt.org.uk, and full details of all schemes being delivered by Hampshire County Council are available at https://www.hants.gov.uk/transport/transportschemes/tcfportsmouth
Caption: Cllr Lynne Stagg, Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation at Portsmouth City Council, and Cllr Lee Hunt, ward councillor for Nelson Ward, visited the site to discuss the work with the contractor.