Portsmouth council leader apologises for traffic problems

Highways Reporters

The leader of Portsmouth City Council has described the traffic problems caused by roadworks on the M275 in Hampshire at the weekend as “appalling”.

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson (pictured) was forced to apologise after thousands of people were affected with many drivers forced to abandon their cars.

The council’s highways contractor Colas is carrying out the roadworks, which include replacing existing waterproofing on Pounds Access Bridge and Tipner Interchange Bridge North and South.

Motorists had been warned to expect delays prior to the roadworks being carried out, but changes to the layout of the motorway caused chaos.

The changes included the closure of one lane on the northbound carriageway and the full closure of the northbound carriageway, with a diversion through Stamshaw.

Speaking to the BBC, Cllr Vernon-Jackson said: "The traffic situation last weekend in Portsmouth was quite appalling, and caused real problems to thousands of local residents and visitors. I am trying to get to the bottom of what happened and why. There clearly are lessons to be learned from the appalling management of roadworks, and I apologise." All parking fines issued on Saturday have been cancelled.

Ray Muscat, deputy business unit manager of Colas, also issued an apology.

He added: "We're very sorry for the disruption our work caused at the weekend. We would like to assure motorists that no further work of this nature will be done until we are satisfied methods have been reviewed and the likelihood for traffic problems is minimised."

Further maintenance work had originally been scheduled for the weekend of 12 July.
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