Suspect package causes transport closures

By Connor Steel

PASSENGER TRANSPORT links between Gosport and Portsmouth were suspended for a number of hours late on Sunday evening following the discovery of a suspicious bag which was found unattended in a bus shelter at The Hard Interchange near the entrance to Gunwharf Quays shopping centre.

Police were called to the scene at 8:10pm and the surrounding area was quickly evacuated alongside closures of main roads around the area; including Queen Street and Park Road.  Buses and trains commuting in the area were forced to divert, with the Gosport Ferry service suspended in both directions.

Tweeting soon after the closures, Gosport Police said: “Please be aware that Gosport Ferry is currently suspended travel due to an ongoing incident. If you are needing to travel between Gosport and Portsmouth please find alternative routes until further notice. Thank you all for your patience and understanding.”

Portsmouth Police then tweeted: “We just want to provide an update on the closures at The Hard Officers closed off the area after a report of a suspicious bag was received around 8.10pm this evening. As a precaution, we have evacuated the area and Explosive Ordnance Disposal are going to be attending.”

Intensive investigations confirmed that the bag didn’t contain anything harmful or dangerous to the general public before it was safely disposed by explosive ordnance robots, police announcing the area safe at approximately 10pm and helping to secure that all transport links across the area were reopened ASAP.

Updating their social media posts including Facebook and Twitter that were shared across the area, Portsmouth Police confirmed that the area was reopened at 10:09pm, saying:  “The closures around The Hard have been lifted all traffic, buses, trains and the Gosport Ferry. Thank you all for your patience.”

Commuters travelling on Monday morning are not expected to face any delays or changes to their journeys as a result of these closures; with all trains, buses and Gosport Ferry seemingly running normally at the time of writing. But if readers are in any doubt they should contact transport providers for more information.

PICTURED BY ERCO: All major transport links around Gosport and Portsmouth were suspended following a discovery of a suspect bag at a bus shelter in The Hard Interchange late on Sunday evening.