Success for Hampshire in bid for Bus Rapid Transit extension
Hampshire County Council has welcomed a recent announcement (19th October 2017), from the Department for Transport, confirming its bid for funding to extend the South East Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) scheme has been successful.
Minister for Transport, Chris Grayling MP, has confirmed that the County Council is to be awarded £6.93 million from a total National Productivity Investment Fund of £345.3 million.
Councillor Rob Humby, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said: “This is great news. With this substantial investment, we can now take forward our long-standing plans for the £10.4 million scheme to extend the Gosport to Fareham Bus Rapid Transit busway.
“We have a strong track record in securing external funding for transport schemes, as evidenced by our capital programme for 2017/18 – 2019/20, which has a total value of £100million for new roads and improvements. The County Council is well positioned to secure external funding to help deliver the necessary transport infrastructure to address current and future growth pressures and improve access to employment and services, as well to strengthen the county’s wider connectivity.
“The South East Hampshire BRT is one of a number of major road schemes which aims to support Hampshire’s growing prosperity, and enhance quality of life, as more and more developments are built. This important road extension in Fareham will further improve journey times and reduce congestion on the A27 in Fareham. Creating easier access to key destinations will help to encourage more residents to favour travelling by bus, over making the journey by car. In turn, this will contribute to an improvement in air quality.”
BRT delivers a viable public transport alternative for people living and working in one of South Hampshire’s most congested areas. Currently, the bus-only route comprises 3.4km of dedicated busway, running along a disused public railway line, from Redlands Lane in Fareham to Tichborne Way in Gosport.
The scheme is proving extremely popular with the Eclipse E1 and E2 services now carrying 60 per cent more passengers than the services they directly replaced, the 82 and 86.
Hampshire County Council customer research has also shown that there has been a 14% shift from people using cars to the bus since the scheme was launched.
Since its launch in 2012, Eclipse has won: an Operator Excellence Award, a National Transport Award in 2013; a Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport’s (CILT) Excellence Award in 2012; and a Customer Care Award from the Gosport Access and Disability Forum.