Open these roads up now

Fair funding scheme sees cash boost for schools

Open the roads into our town to traffic – that is the demand made by an overwhelming majority of residents who took part in a survey.

A big majority of people in Whiteley, near Fareham, who had their say, said they wanted Yew Tree Drive and Rookery Avenue to be fully opened up.

A staggering 90 per cent of the 1,002 people who replied said both roads should be opened now.

Yew Tree Drive was opened to buses and emergency vehicles only earlier this year, but Rookery Avenue doesn't run all the way through.

Councillor Mike Evans, parish council chairman, said: 'People are saying they want them opened and we fail to see why these roads can't be opened now.

'We have always said that there should be access at both roads, and it seems the residents agree.

'Fareham has said it will open these roads, but only when Whiteley Way is finished, and that could be years away.'

But Fareham Borough Council leader, Cllr Sean Woodward, said: 'This survey has been somewhat premature.

'We will be sending out a survey with similar questions to this one, but it will tell people what the effect of each choice would be. I want people to make an informed decision.

'It will also go out to Burridge, Park Gate and Swanwick, as any roads opening would have an impact on them as well. It may well be that it comes back with the same result, but a lot more people will have been consulted.'

The parish council posted out 2,811 copies of the questionnaire about residents' opinions on a broad range of subjects, including travel, development and living in Whiteley.

The results will feed into Winchester City Council's local development framework, setting out guidelines for how the district grows over the next 20 years.

Although the parish council officially only represents residents on the Winchester side of the town, which is split between two local authorities, it also sent the survey to residents living on the Fareham side.

Cllr Evans added: 'We wanted to make sure everyone who wanted to could have a say.

'It might be the parish plan for Winchester, but with 3,000 new homes coming for north Whiteley, roads are a crucial part of it all, so both sides should be consulted.'