FRUSTRATED motorists have renewed calls for a road to be permanently opened to the public.
The route, which follows Yew Tree Drive through to Botley Road on Whiteley’s western side, is closed off by remotely-activated bollards that open only to buses and emergency vehicles.
But while the National Grid was carrying out works nearby, the bollards were kept down for two weeks, allowing everyone to use the junction.
And now a petition set up by the parish council calling for the road to be left open has gathered more than 1,100 names in support.
Parish and district ward councillor Vivian Achwal said: ‘We need another exit from Whiteley. I can see no reason why it shouldn’t be opened. While they were down it was so much easier for people to get from one side to the other, and there wasn’t any of the traffic chaos that some people said was going to happen.
‘I spoke to the lollipop lady by the school and she actually said the traffic was lighter while they were down as some of the traffic was able to go the other way for once.’
The bollards have been put up again since the roadworks were completed.
People living on the Yew Tree Drive side face a three-mile drive that takes them back across the notoriously busy junction nine of the M27, just to get around to the opposite side of the road.
A survey carried out by Hampshire County Council in 2010 showed people who lived on the Whiteley side were two-to-one in favour of opening the road up to all traffic for a trial period.
But 51 per cent of residents living on the Burridge, Swanwick and Park Gate side were against the idea. But local county councillor Sean Woodward said he received complaints from both sides of the divide
He added: ‘The Fareham local plan was only readopted in August and this has the same clause in that Yew Tree Drive only opens when Whiteley Way is completed.
‘If you have it open for a trial, how can you decide if it’s been a success or not?
‘Whatever the solution is, it has to be permanent.’
The petition can be seen at change.org/petitions/yewtreedrive