Councillor Rob Humby, Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Hampshire County Council said: “Since we heard the good news at the end of October that we had been awarded £6.93 million from the Government, enabling us to take forward our long-standing ambitions to complete the outstanding section of the successful Eclipse BRT route, we’ve been working on plans to get this scheme off the ground.”
The 1km busway extension to the existing route will be from the Tichborne Way / Hutfield Link south to form a new junction with Rowner Road, maintaining the existing shared use footway / cycleway from Hutfield Link to Rowner Road.
Councillor Humby continued: “The Eclipse buses which run on the existing route between Redlands Lane in Fareham and Tichborne Way in Gosport have proved a huge success - more than 20% of Eclipse passengers previously made their journeys by car. This extension has been designed to help more people get to areas of employment and education using public transport, reducing traffic delays and supporting investment in the area.”
Marc Reddy, Managing Director for First Hampshire, Dorset and Berkshire, commented: “We’re delighted that the bid for funding to extend the BRT route has been successful. We’ve worked tirelessly with our partners at Hampshire County Council to deliver the premium Eclipse service. And following its launch in 2012, the numbers of passengers that have used the service has been remarkable.
“It’s fantastic that this has been recognised by the Department for Transport as an innovative and well executed solution to alleviate the towns that we serve of congestion. Not only has the BRT and Eclipse ticked all the boxes when combatting congestion, the buses are also one of the cleanest with regards to emissions, so further helping air quality. We look forward to continuing our positive relationship with Hampshire County Council to make the bus travel more accessible and making the Eclipse service even more attractive for the people from Fareham to Gosport, and everywhere in between.”
Caroline Dinenage MP, said: “Addressing our area’s crippling congestion problems has always been a priority of mine, and I’m thrilled that the Department for Transport has recognised the substantial local benefits of extending the BRT Busway. This will build on the significant improvements the busway has already delivered. Historically, the Gosport peninsula has suffered from chronic under investment in transport infrastructure, and while there is still more to do I am glad that much needed progress is being made.”
The Eclipse BRT route delivers a viable public transport alternative for people living and working in one of South Hampshire’s most congested areas. The scheme aims to provide easy access to key destinations to encourage more people to try the bus, and contribute to improved air quality in the area by reducing traffic on the local road network.
Further information on BRT Phase II