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Transport bosses reveal plans to prevent repeat of traffic chaos in Southampton
COUNCIL bosses are introducing a raft of measures to avoid a repeat of the traffic gridlock last week following an emergency meeting.
As previously reported, motorists found themselves marooned in a three mile tailback centred on West Quay Road.
Some cruise passengers abandoned their cars and taxis while pensioners were forced to urinate on the street.
The congestion on Friday was blamed on five cruise ships in port at one time, and ongoing road works on Platform Road.
City leader Simon Letts said his officers had “not anticipated” the chaos – despite knowing the cruise liners were due to dock for months.
An emergency traffic plan had existed but it was not put in place on Friday.
Now transport chiefs have introduced measures they hope will avert a repeat of the massive jams, described as “embarrassing” and deterring visitors.
Subject to a feasibility exercise, the plans would be introduced by the second week of March. They include:
• Removing the bus lane round Queen’s Park to allow the creation of two lanes, outside lane for port traffic, inside for non-dock traffic. This will allow everyone to move past the cruise traffic.
• Examine whether traffic lights in Platform Road could be removed or switched off on busy days.
• Request Hampshire Police to be present everyday when they are two or more cruise ships.
• Organise a command and control team to monitor the traffic situation around busy cruise days and take action where necessary.
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