Issue - meetings

City Centre Road TRO 40/2023

Meeting: 26/07/2023 - Cabinet Member for Transport (Item 9)

TRO 40/2023: City Centre North (Bus Gates, One Way, Speed Limit and Waiting & Loading Restrictions)

Report to follow.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Aneta Scurtu, Senior Highways Engineer, presented her report, the purpose of which was to consider representations received during the consultation for the proposed bus gates, one way streets, speed limit and waiting & loading restrictions in the City Centre North, Portsmouth.

 

Deputations

A deputation was made by Marc Reddy, Managing Director, Stagecoach in favour of the proposal:

 

Buses play a vital part in all towns and cities and Portsmouth is no different.  Buses are the most popular form of public transport in the UK and provides lifelines to employment and jobs, retail, education, health and so on, and in turn is an integral part of the economy. Buses are flexible and play a major part in helping tackle the effects of climate change.  However, the greenest and cleanest vehicles in the world doesn’t solve the congestions problem which is faced by bus operators.  Whilst ultimately all the vehicles may be zero emission in the future, having those vehicles stuck in traffic delivers nothing for our cities in terms of economic growth etc.

 

I have been involved in operating buses in and around Portsmouth, on and off,  for over 22 years and the challenge of operating bus services between Commercial Road South and Commercial Road North has been and remains challenging, due to the nature of the road layout.  Of course, many decades ago, the buses probably served the entire stretch of Commercial Road before pedestrianisation.

 

The two key challenges are:

a)    coming into the city , we have a bus lane until St Agatha's church and then by virtue of the road width the bus lane stops and buses have to compete into the main road of traffic.

b)    coming out of the city, Unicorn Gate can be a slow cycle of traffic lights just by the nature of the traffic demand in the area.  Again, further manoeuvres are then required to serve Commercial Road North.

 

            So, this proposal to allow buses to passage behind St Agatha's church, into Charlotte             Street and onto Commercial Road North will be a significant improvement for bus             services and more importantly the people who use the buses.  It should also save            time for the bus, which is vitally important in making bus services attractive.

 

                        Stagecoach operates 24 buses per hour in this area, and other operators also operate                         a similar number of buses, so the proposed works really do offer great value by virtue                         of the amount of bus traffic these measures would provide.

 

Finally, Stagecoach has a great partnership with Portsmouth City Council and has done so for many years.  We were delighted to see PCC be awarded significant funding from the transforming cities fund and also from the bus service improvement plan scheme.  This clearly demonstrates what can be delivered with great partnership working.

 

I fully support the scheme.

 

A written deputation was also provided by Marc Reddy.

 

Simon Goff, Managing Director, Stagecoach provided a written deputation which was read out by the Chair.

 

Both written deputations can be found here.

 

The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9