10 June 2015, 10:23
A section of bus lane on the M275 into Portsmouth has been removed to help ease congestion caused since the park and ride came in.
The section on Mile End Road between Havisham Road and Church Street has been removed, allowing drivers coming from both the M275 and Rudmore roundabout more time to get into the correct lane before reaching Church Street roundabout. The hatched off area between the lanes has also been reduced in size.
This follows an announcement by the Leader of the Council Donna Jones in February to review the layout and ease congestion.
Councillor Jones said:
"Following intense public scrutiny we've changed the road layout coming into the city.
"By removing a section of the bus lane we can give drivers more flexibility at the bottom of the motorway when they merge into traffic and hopefully this will alleviate some delays.
"We've shortened the bus lane by 80m, which might not seem a great deal but should make a big difference because more cars can merge and it increases capacity.
"For a minimum of six months we'll monitor the traffic flow and it is hoped this be this will speed up journey times during peak hours.
"Improving the transport system is key to the regeneration of the city. Getting in and out of Portsmouth is often easier than travelling into our neighbouring cities of Southampton or Chichester but an overhaul of the city centre road network can make things even better and will only enhance future opportunities ."
The new plans follow extensive work from the council's traffic management team in assessing and amending the road layout and traffic signal timings to optimise traffic flow in the area. This includes elements such as the new signal phasing equipment installed earlier in the year to coordinate green light timings on junctions and crossings approaching the city centre on Commercial Road North and Marketway.
The new proposals are part of an on going plan to enhance the M275 entrance to Portsmouth. An overall strategy to revamp the road network in the city centre is in place and the next step will be a project to expand the capacity of Hope Street and make it the main route both in and out of the city.