Millions of pounds for road should be welcomed

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You can’t turn away when the government offers millions of pounds to help improve traffic flow on a notorious road, particularly in these tough times.

So it’s no surprise that Hampshire County Council and Gosport Borough Council are over the moon that Newgate Lane in Fareham – one of the busiest roads in our area – is set for an £8.5m funding boost.

The road is one of the main routes in and out of Gosport and regularly gets congested with traffic jams.

In fact some say long ago ‘lane’ should have been removed from its name, given that tens of thousands of motorists use it every day as a major through road.

But there are some who say the cash is being spent in the wrong area.

Councillor Peter Chegwyn believes the cash should go on improving the notorious A32 and Quay Street roundabout, which has already recently undergone a multi-million revamp when the new Tesco was built.

He’s got a point.

For years the A32 issue has haunted politicians, with some saying the long jams prevent the town from growing while its larger neighbour across the water, Portsmouth, continues to draw in big business and tourists.

But there is also strength in Gosport Borough Council leader Mark Hook’s argument.

Cash to improve Newgate Lane has come about because of the proposed development of the former HMS Daedalus airfield in nearby Lee-on-the-Solent.

The theory is: improve the infrastructure leading to the former naval base and businesses will want to go there.

This, in turn, will lead to more jobs for Gosport residents, which will mean fewer cars trying to make the daily commute out of the town on Newgate Lane or the A32.

While in an ideal world millions of pounds would be spent on widening the A32 to a dual carriageway, the cash is only available for Newgate Lane so should be snapped up without a second thought.

The important thing now is to make Daedalus work and get more jobs into Gosport.