Cheaper fares and a better bus service is the aim of a new project looking at the potential for a bus depot in Portsmouth.

A new addition to Portsmouth City Council's budget proposals will propose allocating £30,000 to work out the practicalities of creating a depot on a currently unused site in the middle of junction 12 on the M27.

Cllr Lynne Stagg, the council's Cabinet Member for Traffic & Transportation, said: "At the moment neither of the bus companies operating in Portsmouth have a proper depot in the city. This means they waste a lot of time and fuel driving buses to and from Portsmouth before they even start picking up residents.

"If we can find a practical way to provide the facilities they need then it will save them money and hopefully that saving will be passed on to customers. Less travelling time and the start of their days could also result in a better, more reliable service. Building a new depot may even attract a new bus operator to Portsmouth and an increase in competition would bring about similar benefits for residents. I want to make sure Portsmouth has the best bus service it can get, I think a new depot could help achieve that and I hope other councillors will join me in backing this proposal.

"Portsmouth has the lowest level of bus use of any urban area in the south east and we want to get more people out of cars and into buses to improve air quality and health for everyone in the city."

The council's budget proposals will go before both its Cabinet and Full Council meetings for final approval next week.