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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