Three problems affect our roads and environment, all caused predominantly by the same thing i.e. too many vehicles. The problems are:-
- Air pollution
We need a whole city approach to tackle all of these problems because they are all interlinked and we need to change attitudes towards transport in order for this to happen.
In a city of mainly terraced houses, there is room for only 1 vehicle outside most houses (unless there is off-road parking). Car ownership in the city has increased significantly in recent years – from 108,000 in 2007 to 125,000 in 2017, an increase of 17,000 with little corresponding increase in parking space.
NB 1. One added but unplanned advantage of Residents Parking Zones is that they reduce the overall number of vehicles which helps reduce congestion and air pollution.
NB 2. We are aware that if car ownership reduces, a better public transport system is needed. We are therefore working on the following
- Building a large bus depot near the M27/M275 junction as a large number of buses serving the city have to come from Fareham leading to higher fare prices. Having our own solar-powered bus station would encourage greater competition from bus companies and enable buses to be electric which is better for our air quality
- Working with bus companies to introduce integrated ticketing so passengers can use one ticket to ride on any of the different companies' buses
- We have had 3 bus roadshows in Commercial Road recently where residents completed surveys the results of which we will use to work with the bus companies to identify gaps in the bus network
- We are currently developing a business case to add additional levels to the Park and Ride to encourage drivers travelling into the city to use the P&R instead of driving
- We are looking to identify land on which to build a 2nd Park and Ride in the north east of the city to reduce the congestion on the eastern side of the island
- We are currently submitting an application for up to £200 million to Department for Transport Transforming Cities Fund to improve bus rapid transport into and out of the city
- We have a programme of improvements to cycling infrastructure to improve safety for cyclists and so encourage more people to cycle instead of drive
- We are working on improving pedestrian experiences to encourage more people to walk instead of driving and be able to enjoy the experience
- We are currently installing electric charging points on lampposts ( where they are suitable) and small pavement-edge bollards where lampposts aren't suitable. This is to enable owners of electric vehicles without off-street parking, to charge them on-street. These will be rolled out across the city as demand increases
- We are installing improved traffic lights which are reactive to the volume of traffic so that there aren't queues on busy roads because the lights are unnecessarily on Red.
- We have launched a No Idling campaign to encourage ALL DRIVERS to cut their engines at traffic light when they turn to amber or red and in traffic queues
- We are planting 1000s of trees across the city, particularly near roads because they absorb carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas which contributes to global warming) and the leaves trap particulates from vehicle emissions, which contribute to respiratory illnesses such as asthma and COPD