Suella Braverman, has heralded plans for a new Rapid Transport System in the Solent region after meeting with officials from local councils.
The meeting of the South East Hampshire Rapid Transit steering board was an opportunity for Mrs Braverman to hear about progress on plans for a mass transit network which will link communities in Gosport, Fareham, Havant, Waterlooville and Isle of Wight with Portsmouth. The ambitious scheme will enable significant infrastructure improvements for public transport, fleet upgrades and a better customer experience for residents, commuters and visitors.
The scheme was awarded £4 million in March by central government so that proposals could be drawn up, with a broader and more detailed plan to be submitted this month which will see the area vying for a share of £1.28bn from the Transforming Cities Fund. Hampshire Couinty Council says that the scheme will consist of a multi-modal travel system, centred on a network of bus priority routes, with the aim of better connections between communities and travel to work areas; drive up productivity and support economic growth by improving access to employment; reduce carbon emissions and congestion, and improve journey times and journey time reliability for all road users.
Commenting on the proposals after the meeting, Suella Braverman said:
“It was very useful to meet in Portsmouth with the South East Hampshire Rapid Transport Board to discuss the proposed Rapid Transport System in the Solent region. Portsmouth City Council and Hampshire County Council have been shortlisted to bid for a share of the Department of Transport’s £1.28bn Transforming Cities Fund and I was delighted when the government committed £4 million earlier this year.
“The Portsmouth and South East Hampshire City Region bid centres on a mass transit network which links communities in Gosport, Fareham, Havant, Waterlooville and Isle of Wight with Portsmouth. This ambitious scheme will enable significant infrastructure improvements for public transport, fleet upgrades and a better customer experience for residents, commuters and visitors.
“It will also build on the success of the Eclipse bus route, increase public transport routes and reduce air pollution in Fareham which is a priority issue. The bid has my wholehearted support and I look forward to hearing about further progress with the proposals.”