Councillors give approval to keep Whiteley bus gate bollards down

The bollards in Yew Tree Drive
The bollards in Yew Tree Drive
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Bollards will stay down for all traffic except HGVs after councillors agreed to its continued opening.

Fareham Borough Council gave permission for the automatic bus gate in Yew Tree Drive, Whiteley, to stay down at a planning committee meeting.

The road was originally opened for emergency vehicles and buses in 2008, but after the bollards held up an ambulance that was going to the aid of a sick child in February 2013, there was a public outcry to lower them permanently.

A trial took place, while Hampshire County Council and Fareham Borough Council conducted surveys on the road’s usage.

And a public consultation was carried out in 2014, which showed that 86 per cent of Whiteley residents were in favour of a permanent opening Hundreds signed a petition.

The bollards were officially lowered in December 2013 with traffic calming measures such as a 20mph speed limit and speed cushions.

Councillor Brian Bayford, on the planning committee, said: ‘Since the gate has been opened it has obviously been of great benefit to the most of the people of Whiteley.’

However, not everybody is happy with residents of Swanwick Lane and Botley Road saying they have seen an increase in traffic, which has led to increased noise levels.

Nicki Brady, of Botley Road, wrote to the council to object.

She said: ‘Noise is a huge issue.

‘I now can’t have a conversation in my garden as I can’t hear over the traffic noise.

‘The whole area has changed beyond belief in so many ways I wouldn’t know where to start.’

Five other letters were sent to the council also saying they have experienced increased noise due to the traffic.

Council officers said that four noise surveys had been carried out but they had found the background levels in this area are unusually high due to the M27.

Councillors at Fareham Borough Council agreed to allow the road opening to go ahead on the condition that the county council committed to further noise mitigation work.