Hampshire County Council has appointed Colas to carry out the advance works which include vegetation clearance and duct installation for future utility diversions.
Councillor Rob Humby, Executive Member for Environment at Hampshire County Council said: “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.”
The 1km busway extension to the existing route, will be from Tichborne Way / Hutfield Link south to form a new junction with Rowner Road, maintaining the existing shared use footway and cycleway from Hutfield Link to Rowner Road.
Councillor Humby continued: “We’re now able to take forward our long-standing ambitions to complete the outstanding section of this successful route, and have been discussing the implementation details with the wider community. We welcome the high level of interest and I can confirm that we are looking at potential alternative junction arrangements including the possibility of retaining the Rowner Road Bridge.
However we need to start advance work now to meet scheme funding and programme requirements but this will not prejudice any decision on the Rowner Road end of the scheme.”
During the advance works, access will be maintained along Henry Cort Way. There will be times when there will be short 10-15 minute closures which are necessary to ensure the safety of cyclists and pedestrians. All work is subject to weather and ground conditions.
The first part of the Eclipse Busway, completed in 2012, provides a priority public transport route connecting Fareham in the north, to Gosport in the south. The low-emission buses which run on the route between Redlands Lane in Fareham and Tichborne Way in Gosport provide a reliable and comfortable alternative to travelling by car. The Eclipse Busway forms part of a wider package of transport initiatives designed to improve access to Fareham and Gosport, and the Solent Enterprise Zone. 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.