Faster bus travel across Portsmouth and South East Hampshire is one step closer, as a planning application has now been submitted for a new bus lane in the north of Portsmouth city centre.
Portsmouth City Council has applied for full planning permission to create a new two-way bus lane to the north of Cascades Shopping Centre, making it quicker for people to travel to and from the city centre by bus, avoiding congestion on the busy Marketway route.
Improvements like this support the ongoing transformation of travel networks in Portsmouth that boost the economy, reduce the impact of travel on the environment and improve the lives of people visiting, living, and working in this unique island city.
The new lane will be built between Unicorn Road and Cascades Approach, joining up the road leading to Cascades multi storey car park with Unicorn Road. The entrance into Cascades car park will be moved slightly to make room for the new lane.
The planning application can be seen online through the council’s planning portal at www.portsmouth.gov.uk/planning. Anyone wishing to make a comment on it can write to the council within 21 days of it being submitted to share their views.
This project also includes creating walking and cycling route improvements, including new crossings for people on bicycles or on foot, and a new shared cycle and footpath on Unicorn Road. These improvements will make it easier for people to travel more safely and swiftly into the city centre, whether travelling by bus, by foot or by bicycle.
There are also plans in place to make the area greener and more pleasant for everyone, including a new refuge garden and shaded meeting area at St Agatha’s Church, as well as ornamental plants and seating areas along Unicorn Road. This will help to realise the council’s vision for a cleaner, greener and better-connected city.
This is the next phase of work to make public transport quicker, easier and a more attractive option for people to take. When complete, these developments will improve journey times for thousands of people using these routes, making it easier for people to use public transport to travel to work, shops or onward travel connections to the Isle of Wight or European destinations.
Improving the routes is only part of the transformation of bus travel in Portsmouth following a £54.5 million funding award earlier this year. This will see new ticketing offerings that make bus travel more accessible to all, buses earlier in the morning and later at night and the introduction of zero emission buses – a first for Portsmouth.
Cllr Lynne Stagg, Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation, said: “I hope the plans to improve this important location in the heart of the city centre will contribute to making it easier and more appealing for people to travel by sustainable travel. This is just the start of some exciting transport improvements we have coming up in Portsmouth that will help create a cleaner, greener and better-connected city, and it’s also a great opportunity to make the area greener and more pleasant for everyone.”
These improvements will support the wider regeneration of the City Centre North area which is bordered by Hope Street to the north, Charlotte Street to the south and Commercial Road to the east. It includes the former Tricorn and Sainsbury’s sites which the council bought to unlock the opportunity for significant, long-term regeneration in this part of the city.
The initial plans include a new large public green space, new homes as well as space for community facilities and businesses. The plans for this long-term project will have the flexibility to evolve and adapt to meet the needs of the community now and in the future.