The Hard in Portsea is hugely important to Portsmouth as a transport interchange. It is a site where bus, train and boat services come together and for many people it is the first thing they see when arriving in the city.
The interchange is currently part of a £7m scheme to improve the city’s infrastructure with a completion date expected in May.
Work began to make the interchange more efficient and more welcoming in Autumn 2015 as the old interchange was not suitable for modern transport requirements. Extensive work was required to the concrete deck and supporting structure as the site is on a pier.
The project cost at around £7million includes £2million from the city council and £4.8million from the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
This week Cllr Stephen Morgan, ward councillor for the area, paid a follow up visit to the site to review progress made since last summer.
Receiving a tour from council officers running the capital project he said:
“The Hard Interchange project is exactly the investment Portsmouth needs. A project which has created jobs, improved the infrastructure of the city and enhanced our built environment therefore supporting the wider local economy.
It has been excellent to take a tour of the site again, meet with the project team and hear how they are working with the community to mitigate the disruption. I’m looking forward to the scheme completing and for local people to benefit from the investment”.
The visit follows Portsmouth Labour’s response to the city’s revenue and capital budget discussed at Full Council. The Labour Group called for a better deal for local people from central government and the council to invest in Portsmouth.
Speaking in the budget debate on Tuesday Cllr Morgan said:
“More must be done to get residents into work and to continue the vital regeneration across our city and to help local businesses grow and prosper.
Most must be done to build the right infrastructure and to tackle congestion so to create an economy where local people have the skills to take advantage of Portsmouth jobs.
Improving the area for everyone who lives here and building the foundations of a brighter future for everyone in Portsmouth”.
For more information about The Hard project visit: www.portsmouth.gov.uk/ext/development-and-planning/regeneration/regeneration-of-the-hard.aspx