Portsmouth City Council has applied for full planning permission to create a new two-way bus lane north of the Cascades Shopping Centre, which allows people to travel faster to and from the city center by bus, avoiding thus the traffic jams on the busy Marketway road.
Improvements like this support the ongoing transformation of travel networks in Portsmouth that are boosting the economy, reducing the environmental impact of travel and improving the lives of people who visit, live and work in this unique island city. .
The new lane will be constructed between Unicorn Road and Cascades Approach, joining the road leading to the Cascades multi-storey car park with Unicorn Road. The entrance to the Cascades car park will be moved slightly to make room for the new lane.
The planning application can be viewed online via the council’s planning portal at www.portsmouth.gov.uk/planning. Anyone wishing to comment on this can write to the board within 21 days of submission to share their views.
This project also includes the creation of improvements to walking and cycling routes, including new crossings for people on bikes or on foot, and a new shared bike and trail on Unicorn Road. These improvements will make it easier and safer for people to get around the city centre, whether by bus, on foot or by bike.
Plans are also in place to make the area greener and more enjoyable for all, including a new refuge garden and shaded meeting area at St. Agatha’s Church, as well as ornamental plants and rest areas along Unicorn Road. This will help realize the council’s vision of a cleaner, greener and better connected city.
This is the next phase of work to make public transport faster, easier and more attractive to people. When completed, these developments will improve journey times for thousands of people using these routes, making it easier to use public transport to get to work, shop or continue their connections to the Isle of Wight or destinations Europeans.
Improving routes is just part of transforming bus travel in Portsmouth following £54.5million in funding earlier this year. This will see new ticketing offers that make bus travel more accessible to everyone, earlier morning and later night buses and the introduction of zero-emission buses – a first for Portsmouth.
Cllr Lynne Stagg, Cabinet Member for Traffic and Transportation, said:
“I hope that the improvement plans for this important location in the heart of the city center will help make it easier and more attractive for people to travel by sustainable means of transport. This is just the start of some of the exciting transport improvements we have coming to Portsmouth that will help create a cleaner, greener and better connected city, and it’s also a great opportunity to make the region greener and more enjoyable for everyone.
These improvements will support the wider regeneration of the north downtown 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 sites of Tricorn and Sainsbury’s which the council purchased to unlock the opportunity for significant, long-term regeneration in this part of town.
Initial plans include a new large public green space, new homes as well as spaces for community facilities and businesses. Plans for this long-term project may evolve and adapt to meet the current and future needs of the community.