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Light Rapid Transport and Monorail proposals for Portsmouth
Traditionally, transport planning has had a “predict and provide” approach, where planners aimed to make enough road space available for the amount of traffic predicted in the future. More recently, efforts at reducing the amount of traffic on our roads have become a priority.

Since 1994, local planning authorities have been required to consider land use and transport together and promote the kind of development that reduces reliance on private cars and promotes less damaging means of transport.

Portsmouth’s Local Transport Plan for 2001-2006 sets out a locally specific agenda for an integrated transport system and a programme of supporting sustainable travel. Both the LRT and the Monorail form essential parts of this strategy, in that their intention is to provide a safe, clean and reliable means of transport both in and around the city.

The South Hampshire rapid Transit (SHRT) is a modern tram system along the lines of the ones already operating in Sheffield, Manchester and several other European countries. It is more commonly referred to as the Light Rapid Transport or LRT. The initial phase of this project will be 14km long and will connect Fareham, Gosport and Portsmouth, including a tunnel under Portsmouth Harbour. The electrically powered trams will hopefully provide an attractive alternative to private car use in an area which suffers from severe traffic congestion and should potentially carry around 6 million people a year.

The proposed monorail route runs along the west side of the city from the Queen Alexandra Hospital, through Port Solent and Tipner and passing the continental ferry port, through the city centre, Gunwharf, and the university before terminating at Clarence Pier.

As with the LRT, the monorail is being proposed as a means to reducing traffic in and around the city. At present, the M275 is the main car route into the city. It is hoped that the monorail will provide an efficient alternative. The monorail will also be combined with a park and ride service from Port Solent and Tipner as well as a general form of transport. Tighter parking restraints in the city will hopefully encourage visitors and commuters to leave their cars outside the city centre, resulting in less congestion and cleaner air. Added to this, the monorail is one of the quietest and least polluting forms of public transport.

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