The South East Hampshire Bus Rapid Transit remains on schedule as it rapidly approaches its completion date. Designed to provide a much more efficient service, the scheme is planned to become Phase 1 in a much wider BRT network.
Valued at £15 million, the Hampshire County Council funded project is being developed on a section of disused railway between Redlands Lane in Fareham and Ticborne Way in Gosport.
The aim of the service is to provide a reliable alternative to travelling by car through a high-quality bus transportation service between the Fareham to Gosport route. Once in place, it should ease congestion and unblock the limitations on regenerating the Gosport peninsula, whilst hopefully convincing eager travellers to think twice about taking their car for a spin each day. This will be achieved by giving buses priority at signalised junctions and the introduction of a more modern experience for passengers.
As well as the use of solar powered lighting at bus stops and key junctions, real-time and electronic display information will be used in shelters and pillars along the route, allowing passengers to be updated on the expected arrival time of the next bus. The bus stops themselves have also been modified in order to provide the best possible travel experience and feature 24/7 CCTV cameras and parking for cyclists.
Main contractors BAM Nuttall commenced works on Phase 1 on 2nd September 2010. In addition to a number of key operations put in place before work commenced on construction, BAM Nuttall were also responsible for installing environmental measures to protect the local wildlife. The company also had to demolish existing structures and redistribute all of the rail tracks and sleepers that were no longer needed on the site.
The busway carriage is formed from asphalt and was constructed using traditional road construction techniques. In addition, special acoustic fences were introduced in order to minimise noise pollution. With the road construction, fencing and drainage now complete, the next stage will comprise the installation of bus stops whilst the junctions along the route are finalised.
During the construction of the project, access to the 3.4km long site has been severely restricted, with only four entry points for deliveries of plants and materials. In order to minimise traffic disruption, temporary traffic works were also introduced at Newgate Lane.
With the final touches being added over the coming months, Phase 1 of BRT is set to open during spring 2012.