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City Centre North

Closing Date : 31/03/2023

Opening Date : 28/09/2020


Name: Project Management Office


Overview of the scheme

This scheme proposes the introduction of a new road for buses and taxis so buses avoid getting caught in, and adding to, congestion in the city centre particularly along Marketway.

Marketway is located in an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) and is within the Clean Air Zone boundary, as levels of NO2 in this area currently exceed legal limits. This scheme supports Portsmouth’s Air Quality Local Planand theLocal Transport Strategy by easing congestion and improving walking and cycling in this area.

Initial modelling has shown that once all schemes included in this phase are complete, passengers from Havant could save up to 5 and a half minutes on their journey, passengers from Leigh Park could save up to 11 minutes, passengers from Fareham could save up to 7 minutes and passengers from Waterlooville could save just over 5 minutes.

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Planned improvements

Better bus journeys

This scheme introduces a new bus-only access corridor, so buses avoid getting caught in, and adding to, congestion in the city centre particularly along Marketway.

This is a popular route for many bus and coach services travelling in and out of Portsmouth city centre and to the Hard Interchange, connecting with train and ferry services. The proposal would improve journey times for thousands of passengers using these routes and will get them even closer to the city centre shops.

To improve this area of the city we are proposing to:

  • Make a new lane for buses and taxis between Cascades Approach and Unicorn Road
  • Route outbound buses through a new lane for buses and taxis between Charlotte Street and Commercial Road North, east of Eden Street
  • Create an in-bound bus lane at Cascades Approach to Unicorn Road
  • Install a new tiger crossing to the south of Unicorn Road (allowing people on foot and on bicycles to cross).
  • Improve the landscaping in the area to make it greener and more pleasant


Our consultation period for this scheme is now closed. It was open from 17 December 2021 to 31 January 2022, and the feedback we received will will help us decide where to make specific improvements to this route, and how best to implement these changes. You can see the results of this consultation here.

Next, we will collate and analyse the responses, before releasing a detailed plan for the area. This will then be taken to Portsmouth City Council for approval to proceed, then a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) will be applied for. This is a legal tool to introduce most traffic management controls on roads and is used to regulate, restrict or prohibit the use of a road, or any part of the width of a road, by vehicle traffic or pedestrians. A TRO may take effect at all times, or during specified periods, and may not affect all classes of traffic. Find out more about TROs at our site.

Next Steps

We applied on 22 June for full planning permission to create the new two-way bus lane to the north of Cascades Shopping Centre, making it quicker for people to travel to and from the city centre by bus, and avoiding congestion on the busy Marketway route.

The new lane will be built between Unicorn Road and Cascades Approach, joining up the road leading to Cascades multi storey car park with Unicorn Road. The entrance into Cascades car park will also be moved slightly to make room for the new lane.

This project also includes creating walking and cycling route improvements, including new crossings for people on bicycles or on foot, and a new shared cycle and footpath on Unicorn Road. These improvements will make it easier for people to travel more safely and swiftly into the city centre, whether travelling by bus, by foot or by bicycle.

There are also plans in place to make the area greener and more pleasant for everyone, including a new refuge garden and shaded meeting area at St Agatha’s Church, as well as ornamental plants and seating areas along Unicorn Road. This will help to realise the council’s vision for a cleaner, greener and better-connected city.

You can view the application online at Anyone wishing to make a comment on it can write to the council within 21 days of it being submitted to share their views.

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