People are being encouraged to have their say on schemes designed to improve traffic flows for public transport in the centre of Portsmouth.
Portsmouth City Council has launched a survey to share plans about improvements to key areas in the city centre, and to collect people’s opinions on how best to implement changes. The planned schemes in the survey specifically look at ways to improve Unicorn Junction in the north of the city centre, Isambard Brunel Road in the south, and Lake Road to the east.
Funded by the government’s Transforming Cities Fund (TCF), these proposals are focused on making it easier for buses to travel through the city centre and avoid congestion, as well as ways to make the areas better for people cycling or walking.
In the north of the city centre, proposals include the introduction of a new bus-only corridor along Marketway and Unicorn Junction. In the south, a new bus-only route along the southern end of Commercial Road and Isambard Brunel Road is proposed. And on Lake Road, plans include a new westbound bus lane towards the city centre as well as enhancements to the roundabout to improve safety for people walking and cycling.
These plans will be shared at some online briefing sessions in early January 2022. These will allow attendees to see the plans in more detail and ask questions to project staff, before completing the survey.
Some of the proposed changes include:
City Centre North
- Making a new corridor for buses and taxis between Cascades Approach and Unicorn Road
- Routing outbound buses through a new corridor for buses and taxis between Charlotte Street and Commercial Road North, east of Eden Street
- Creating an in-bound bus lane at Marketway to Unicorn Road
- Install a new tiger crossing to the south of Unicorn Road (allowing people on foot and on bicycles to cross)
City Centre South
- Introducing a new corridor for buses and taxis between Commercial Road and Isambard Brunel Road
- Modifying the road layout on Isambard Brunel Road to allow a two-way traffic flow for buses and taxis
- Replacing the mini roundabout near Portsmouth & Southsea train station with a crossroads traffic light junction, with controlled pedestrian crossing
- Adding a new controlled pedestrian crossing on Isambard Brunel Road, near to Guildhall Square
- Improving the landscaping in the areas to make them greener and more pleasant
- Adding a new westbound bus lane for buses and taxis between Lake Road roundabout and Cornmill Roundabout
- Improving the existing roundabout to provide safer and more direct crossing facilities for people walking and cycling
- Adding dedicated cycle paths along Lake Road with cycle segregation, west of the roundabout
- Improving the landscaping in the area to make it greener and more pleasant
The use of private hire vehicles in these bus lanes is subject to a trial which will be conducted in early 2022.
The feedback that the council receive through this survey will help to finalise the designs before undertaking a statutory 21-day consultation, where people will have a further opportunity to share their views.
People should visit www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CityCentreLakeRoadSurvey to complete the survey, and visit www.sehrt.org.uk for more information. The survey will take approximately ten minutes to complete and closes on 31 January 2022.
Cllr Lynne Stagg, Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation, said:
“The centre of Portsmouth is a very important location for lots of people working, living and shopping in Portsmouth, so I would very much like to see improvements to these areas. These proposals will work hand in hand with other improvements going on in the city centre and will make it easier and more appealing for people to travel by bus, or by walking or cycling. These plans will make a big difference to the community, so we’d really like people to share their opinions on how to improve these important areas”
In September 2020, £56 million was awarded to the South East Hampshire Rapid Transit (SEHRT) project for public transport and active travel improvements. £26 million of this will be invested in nine schemes in Portsmouth over the next two to three years and will be focused on improving bus connectivity and people’s journey to and from buses, including walking and cycling improvements. This work also helps support the Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP).
For more information about these and SEHRT projects, visit www.sehrt.org.uk/schemes.