Off the Fence: Caroline Dineage

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage
Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage
Part of a painting by Bill Montague depicting the chaos at Dunkirk

LESLEY KEATING: I wish I’d asked dad about Dunkirk – but it’s too late

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MP for Gosport

Yet all too often their comments are swiftly followed by ’but what a journey to get there!’

This is a sentiment shared by many local commuters who travel on and off the peninsula each day.

With so many exciting developments taking place in the Gosport area, it is more important than ever that all aspects of our transport infrastructure are functioning well.

For that reason, I have launched a multi-pronged attack on our roads, bus services and railway network with the aim of securing long-awaited and much-needed improvements.

First came the buses. Whilst there has been good news that Fareham to Gosport bus use has increased by around 24 per cent, contributing to a five per cent reduction in traffic on the A32, smaller services have been cut.

At the end of October, Hampshire County Council held a meeting to discuss the future of bus services in the Gosport area.

So I submitted a written deputation setting out my concerns about a number of local routes and calling for First to better consult with the public.

Another big problem is the railway network.

As the largest town in Europe without a station, we have to make a journey by ferry or car before we get on a train.

From then, we face a slow and uncomfortable journey to London using infrastructure put in place in 1936.

Connectivity to London and the Solent region is crucial to the Gosport peninsula’s future prosperity.

With that in mind, I met with South West Trains to talk about ways improvements can be made and am leading a Commons debate on the matter.

Last, but not least, is our roads. For decades there have been promises of a Stubbington bypass and earlier this year the government gave it the green light.

Last week, Hampshire County Council discussed a number of proposals to ease congestion between the M27, Fareham and Gosport, so I submitted a second deputation explaining why we need a better road infrastructure.

I was pleased that Cllr Seán Woodward agreed to a number of key improvements including the route for the Stubbington bypass.