Traffic fears over 1,100 commuters to Solent Business Park

Solent Business Park in Whiteley

Solent Business Park in Whiteley

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CONCERNS have been raised over potential traffic misery caused by 1,100 extra commuters into a business park.

HSBC has confirmed it will be relocating to the Forum One site, in Parkway, Whiteley when it transfers 1,100 staff from its current office in Southampton.

The banking giant has submitted a planning application to extend the car park at Solent Business Park to alleviate potential parking problems. But fears have been raised by residents, workers and councillors about how the additional numbers commuting would impact on infrastructure, especially with rush-hour traffic already a problem around Whiteley.

Jaimie Howlett, 34, an account manager who often visits Solent Business Park, said: ‘It is already a nightmare.

‘I’m all for new businesses and work but they have to improve the infrastructure at the same rate.

‘Whiteley is busy enough but the infrastructure needs to be change. The bottlenecks on the one road out are a nightmare that no one seems to have thought about.’

Jason Gines, 46, from Fareham, who regularly visits Whiteley, said public transport should be improved.

He added: ‘The traffic is bad enough now, especially at rush hour, and with another 1,000 people it’s going to be a nightmare.’

Chairman of Whiteley Town Council Mike Evans met representatives from HSBC at the site last week to see what steps the bank was proposing to accommodate the additional flow.

Cllr Evans said: ‘We discussed what they were doing in regards to transport, parking and cars which were some of our areas of concern.

‘They have proposed to build a car park which is very good news as we could hopefully see some community use from that car park.’

As well as the car park, the council has been in discussions with the bank about it potentially putting on a bus.

Cllr Evans said: ‘HSBC has been very good and very positive and hopefully they will be laying buses on.

‘They are very conscious of the traffic problems that we have in Whiteley.’

A consultation began in November with Southampton staff on how the 10-mile move would affect them.

The bank began to look at premises in Whiteley in January and Hughes Ellard confirmed last month that it had secured a letting to HSBC for the 70,000sq ft office.

Since then an application has been submitted to Winchester City Council to extend the car park to include 318 additional spaces, new site accesses, pedestrian and cycle paths and lighting

To make a comment go to winchester.gov.uk quoting reference 15/00560/FUL.

Whiteley Town Council will also be discussing the plan at its meeting on Wednesday evening.

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