Hampshire: Council could leave regional public transport scheme

Three local authorities have urged a county council to remain in a partnership designed to improve transport across the Solent area. Solent Transport is a coalition of Southampton, Portsmouth and Isle of
Wight unitary authorities and Hampshire County Council.

The partnership has secured £150m of funding over the last decade but Hampshire has been recommended to exit the coalition. A decision on the county council’s continued involvement will be made at a meeting today (27 June).

The partnership has supported various initiatives such as the roll-out of rental bikes and e-scooters, research into using drones for NHS medical supply deliveries and an app to integrate travel options across Hampshire.

A spokesperson for the unitary councils expressed disappointment at the recommendation for Hampshire County Council to leave the partnership.

“As local authorities, we know that we can achieve more for our residents and businesses when we work together, especially on transport-related issues that don’t recognise council boundaries,” they

“While we understand the financial challenges involved, we also recognise the economic significance of the partnership for our residents and businesses in the Solent region.

“The partnership plays a pivotal role in improving transport across the Solent, evidenced by the ongoing delivery of the award-winning Solent Future Transport Zone, and has been instrumental in securing more than £150 million of vital funding over the past decade.”

The spokesperson affirmed that Solent Transport would continue with the Isle of Wight Council, Portsmouth City Council, and Southampton City Council.

“We will review how best to work with neighbouring authorities, including Hampshire and the district and borough councils, who are essential in ensuring our Solent communities and those passing through
our areas do so with ease.

“It would be disappointing if people living in the Hampshire County Council area no longer benefit from this work.”


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