Transport secretary is stuck in traffic on visit to Gosport

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THE transport secretary had time to reflect on his decision to travel to Gosport by car yesterday after getting stuck in traffic coming into town.

Patrick McLoughlin MP, the secretary of state for transport, met with local leaders at Gosport’s Town Hall to hear about the £30m plans for a Stubbington Bypass.

INVITED Secretary of state for transport Patrick McLoughlin with Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage in the town. Picture: Malcolm Wells (133096- 0452)

INVITED Secretary of state for transport Patrick McLoughlin with Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage in the town. Picture: Malcolm Wells (133096- 0452)

But only after he queued along the A32 as utility works coming into the town kept him waiting.

Patrick McLoughlin, transport secretary, said: ‘There was some roadworks going on at the outskirts, so yes I got stuck in traffic.

‘I can see that that is a big problem because any utility works which take place, which are essential and have to be done, then that brings added congestion to the residents of Gosport.’

He added the bypass scheme would be competing against others across the country for any central government cash.

He met Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage, Hampshire County Council transport boss cllr Sean Woodward and Gosport’s council leader cllr Mark Hook.

Cllr Woodward said the Stubbington Bypass is a high priority at the county council.

He said: ‘Nothing beats showing somebody, he’s already got stuck on the A32 so that’s a good start.

‘The county doesn’t have the money spare to do it.

‘We’re not prepared to have housing fund it.’

He added any cash would likely go to the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership to then spend on the road.

Ms Dinenage, who invited Mr McLoughlin to Gosport, said she wanted to show the minister the problems.

She said: ‘To now get the transport minister down is absolutely vital.

‘You can rest assured that neither Sean, nor Mark, nor I will give up nagging for this.

‘We’ll do it if it means attracting the necessary investment this area is so desperate for.’

Mr McLoughlin also visited the Network Rail apprentice training programme at HMS Sultan, and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency base at Daedalus.

It comes after local transport minister Norman Baker visited in March.