The Royal Navy has announced its new Queen Elizabeth Carrier will be arriving in its home port of Portsmouth for the first time at approximately 7.10am on Wednesday, 16 August.

It is the most powerful ship ever built for the Royal Navy and will will also be a key asset for NATO, so the eyes of the world will be on Portsmouth.

The carrier's arrival reinforces the city's status as the home of the Royal Navy and its presence will provide a significant economic boost to the area with local businesses set to benefit from a variety of opportunities to support and maintain the ongoing running of the ship and its crew.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to come to see the 65,000-tonne carrier as it arrives. This will cause significant disruption and people are advised to carefully plan any journeys taken on the arrival day and allow extra time to travel.

We want you to have all the information you need to be able to enjoy the occasion, whether you're going to see the carrier or trying to go about your normal day in Portsmouth, so we'll be adding more information to this page as we get more details.

Below you will find the latest information on the best ways to travel around Portsmouth and details of road closures that will be in place in the city centre, Southsea and Old Portsmouth.

Anyone planning on visiting Gosport to view the arrival can find out all the information they need to know on Gosport Borough Council's dedicated Queen Elizabeth Carrier webpage.

Anyone planning on viewing the arrival from Hayling Island can find out more about getting there on Havant Borough Council's website.

Anyone planning on visiting the Isle of Wight, can find out more about places to see the carrier on Isle of Wight Council's website

Transport

The city will be busier than usual so if you need to travel you should expect delays, please plan ahead and allow extra time.

We're expecting significant disruption on the roads and we'd encourage people to avoid travelling to Portsmouth by car if possible or residents making car journeys within the city. Wherever possible use public transport, cycle or walk.

We appreciate the early arrival might prevent people from further away travelling by public transport, if you do have to drive to Portsmouth please consider using park and ride.

Portsmouth Park & Ride is conveniently located on the M275 entrance to the city, it costs just £4 and will be running a special service on Wednesday 16 August with six extra buses. The site will open at 3.30am with the first bus running at 4am and taking visitors to the city centre and seafront near Clarence Pier.

 

The last bus back from the seafront will be at 10am, but anyone wanting to stay in the city for longer can use the normal park and ride service which will run as usual from 7am to the city centre and The Hard interchange.

 

Full details are of the service are available on the Portsmouth Park & Ride website.

As there will be significant disruption on Portsmouth's roads we are advising people to travel by public transport, cycle or walk wherever possible.

 

Anyone who does have to drive into Portsmouth can avoid some of the congestion by using the park and ride service located on the M275 entrance to the city.

 

There will be significant congestion in Southsea and Old Portsmouth so you may want to consider parking in areas like the city centre which are easily walkable for most people.

 

Seafront parking will be limited as Clarence Pier car park will be closed from 8am on Tuesday 15 August, and the Clarence Esplanade seafront road will be closed between Clarence Pier and the D-Day Museum car park from 10pm on Tuesday 15 August. This is because we're expecting a lot of people to be in those areas and want to keep everyone safe.

 

Blue badge holders will be able to park as normal in line with the blue badge scheme guidance, outside of the closed areas. This includes free parking in pay-and-display bays.

 

People watching the arrival from the top of Portsdown Hill should only park in the designated car parks. Cars are not allowed to park on the roads along the top of hill as they will be blocking an important access route to Queen Alexandra Hospital.

Trains will be running into Portsmouth on the day of the carrier arrival. The Waterloo line improvement work means it isn't possible to put on extra trains and there will be fewer trains than usual operating into Portsmouth, so people are advised to plan their journeys and check the latest travel information before setting off.

 

To plan your journey please use the National Rail journey planner.

 

You can also check with individual operators for information on services and any delays:

There will disruption to ferry services as the harbour will be closed to other boats while the carrier comes in. The closures will be kept as short as possible, check details of services before you travel, information on specific services can be found as follows:

 

Gosport Ferry

Commuters between Portsmouth and Gosport will be disrupted as the service stops for around 30 minutes while the carrier enters the harbour. Where possible people may want to look at options for adjusting their working hours or working from home if possible.

Information on changes to the service will be posted on the Gosport Ferry's website.

 

Isle of Wight services

Commuters to or from the Isle of Wight are likely to be disrupted. Where possible people may want to look at options for adjusting their working hours or working from home if possible. Alternatively the Red Funnel service from Southampton will run as normal throughout the carrier arrival.

 

Details of the changes to specific services can be found on these pages:

 

Passengers should contact their operators to find out the best way to make your trip with minimal disruption.

 

Continental ferries

There will be changes to some services from Portsmouth International Port. Passengers should contact their operators to find out the best way to make your trip with minimal disruption.

 

Ferry companies will provide information on changes to their services nearer the time on the following websites:

Dedicated bus lanes mean buses will often be faster than travelling by car on days with high levels of traffic. To work out the easiest way to get around use the journey planner on the My Journey Portsmouth website.

For the latest information on services on the day check with operators:

Portsmouth is a flat, compact city making it perfect to travel on foot or bike. If you live in the city please think about whether you can make your journey on foot or by bike so you don't get caught in any travel disruption.

 

There is likely to be congestion in Southsea and Old Portsmouth so you may want to consider parking in areas like the city centre which are easily walkable for most people.

 

To work out the easiest way to get around use the journey planner on the My Journey Portsmouth website.

Road closures

With large numbers of people expected to travel into certain areas we will need to close some roads to keep pedestrians save and make sure traffic keeps moving as much as possible.

From 4am on Wednesday 16 August, to minimise congestion at the Mile End Roundabout (at the end of the M275) we will be closing some of the roads approaching it from the south.

  • There will be no access on to the Mile End roundabout from Church Street in the hours before and after the carrier arrival, apart from access for local residents.
  • Cornmill Street - between Lake Road and the Marketway roundabout - will also be closed northbound
  • Drivers on Hope Street will only be able to travel northbound from Mile End roundabout, on to Mile End Road (towards the M275 and Rudmore roundabout).

People who usually travel out of the city via Church Street or Commercial Road will be diverted along Lake Road, Kingston Road and Kingston Crescent. Some residents may find it easier to use alternative routes like the Eastern Road.

Due to the high number of people expected on the seafront, part of Clarence Esplanade seafront road is being closed as a safety measure. The road will be closed between Clarence Pier and the D-Day Museum car park from 10pm on Tuesday 15 August.

 

Unauthorised vehicles left in this area will be removed.

Road closures:

Because of the large number of people expected in the area, we will be closing Broad Street north of the junction with East Street and Bath Square. There will be no parking on these roads and any vehicles parked here will be removed. This closure will be in place from 5pm on Tuesday 15 August.

 

Access restricted to resident and local businesses:
From 4am on Wednesday 16 August only Old Portsmouth residents and businesses will be able to drive beyond the junction of High Street and Pembroke Road. This is being done as a safety measure because of the large number of people expected to be visiting the area. Only vehicles belonging to residents and businesses within the KA parking zone will be able to gain access to the following roads:

 

  • East Street
  • Seager's Court
  • Trimmers Court
  • Bath Street
  • West Street
  • Tower Street
  • Tower Alley
  • Bath Square
  • Bathing Lane
  • White Hart Road
  • Captains Row
  • Oyster Mews
  • Merchants Row
  • French Street
  • Oyster Street
  • St Thomas's Street
  • Camber Place 
  • Grand Parade
  • Penny Street (south of Pembroke Road)

Water and airspace closures

There will be restrictions on boats moving around Portsmouth Harbour before during and after the carrier's arrival. Anyone thinking of making plans to travel within the harbour on the arrival day should check the restrictions issued by the Queen's Harbour Master.

 

For the first entry of HMS Queen Elizabeth there will be a no-fly exclusion zone around Portsmouth Harbour as a fly past will take place during the event. Drone operators and military flying share the same low level airspace. Due to the speeds we fly, the chances of spotting a drone are almost impossible and for safety reasons all drone users should avoid operating in the vicinity of the harbour on the day HMS Queen Elizabeth enters her home port for the first time, as indicated by the Civil Aviation Authority Guidance. Further information on safe flying can be found at www.dronesafe.uk