Hampshire & Isle of Wight

M275 works postponed after "unacceptable" congestion

Maintenance works on the M275 in Hampshire have been postponed in a bid to avoid a repeat of "unacceptable" congestion during previous roadworks.

Contractors Colas and the city council apologised after thousands of drivers were caught in traffic jams on the stretch at the end of June.

More roadworks were due to take place on the M275 between Friday and Monday.

But the council said they would not go ahead until plans were in place to reduce the impact on motorists.

'Extremely sorry'

A joint investigation found poor planning and traffic management by Colas during works to waterproof three of the M275's bridges and install drainage near Rudmore roundabout in Portsmouth caused the congestion last month.

The council said Colas did not make "sufficient allowances" for an increase in traffic due to Armed Forces Day celebrations taking place at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

City council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson said: "I'm very sorry this situation occurred and pleased Colas has recognised the responsibility lies with them for doing this essential work at a time when they knew there would be increased traffic flow.

"I expect them to have systems in place within their organisation so they never again cause problems like this for residents and businesses in Portsmouth."

Brian Hicks, managing director of Ensign which manages Portsmouth's road network, said: "The congestion caused was unacceptable and we will do everything within our power to make sure there is no repeat of it."

Mr Vernon-Jackson earlier said all parking tickets issues by the council on 29 June during the the height of the traffic problems had been cancelled as a "gesture of goodwill."

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