Portsmouth hard interchange redevelopment


Duration:20 months


Country: Portsmouth, UK

What did this project achieve?


Build a new transport hub to improve access to historic attractions

The Portsmouth hard interchange is a multi-modal transport redevelopment, part of the £1.8bn investment to improve the infrastructure and transport links into the city of Portsmouth. It forms a new high quality gateway and transport hub in one of the busiest parts of the city of Portsmouth.

As well as the regeneration of an historic area it provides improved transport safety for the over 13 million people a year who visit and completes the southern end of the new Portsmouth park and ride scheme.

The Hard Interchange next to the Spinnaker Tower

The Hard Interchange next to the Spinnaker Tower

Project achievements and benefits

Gunwharf Quays and the Historic Dockyard collectively attract 6.5 million visitors each year and a significant number arrive by public transport. The new hub provides a modern gateway to those attractions and for many is an impressive first point of contact to the city.

One of the main safety challenges of the previous transport interchange was the lack of segregation between buses and passengers. The new facility incorporates a 10 bus bay drive in and reverse out (DIRO) forecourt which fully segregates pedestrians.

The bus bay doors open via induction loop under each bay and passengers can only enter when a vehicle has arrived. Hence an increased bus capacity has been achieved without compromising safety.

Project elements

The project incorporates the re-use of an existing deck through the use of lightweight fill materials.

The roof incorporates a lightweight plastic inflatable roofing system. A constant vacuum provides air to the ‘pillows’, protecting passengers from the weather.

The use of Building Information Modelling (BIM) meant over 100 individual repairs could be monitored throughout every stage with relevant photos and information attached. Work was approved from remote locations making it more efficient to complete.

The drainage system includes a system that filters out any oil or contaminants before discharge.

The ceiling in the main terminal building comprises stretched fabric which aims to magnify the curved shape of the two internal pod units. Fabric is clipped from the centre of the pod and hides the services above. LED strip lighting illuminates the parabolic shape.

Every effort was made to limit the impact on the surrounding waterside environment during construction. The previous 1970s concrete deck and building were re-used via local waste management.

The main terminal has glass cladding, minimising heating requirements through the benefit of solar gain.

Care for marine environment included Marine Management Organisation licensing consent.


We hope residents and visitors will see the huge improvement the new interchange has made to this crucial gateway to our city. It links people to buses, trains and ferries, makes it easier to navigate and enables everyone to share the space more safely.

Alan Cufley

Portsmouth City Council Director of Transport, Environment and Business Support

Fascinating facts

This transport gateway project was constructed in the busiest part of Portsmouth with an annual footfall of 13 million people

The project makes sustainable use of existing foundations – over 400 concrete piles

In February 2017 work was temporarily halted when a WW2 bomb was found in Portsmouth Harbour

People who made it happen

  • Client: Portsmouth City Council
  • Osborne
  • AHR London
  • RoC Consulting
  • Lachmanns

More about this project

Explore more civil engineering projects

I want to become a civil engineer.

See how your studies lead to a civil engineering career

The job you end up with in civil engineering is likely to link back to what you studied at school, college or university. Here you can see your options at any age.

At school

Up to 16 years

School / college

16-19 years

College / university

18 years +

Change career

Any age