Road safety groups axed in council cuts

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COST-cutting plans to merge road safety groups will go ahead.

Hampshire County Council will cut the number of road safety councils it runs from 11 to three.

Havant, Fareham, Gosport and East Hampshire each currently have their own bodies which identify ways to make roads in their area less dangerous.

They are made up of residents, councillors, police and the fire service.

But from June, Havant, Fareham and Gosport will merge with Eastleigh to form a council for southern Hampshire.

East Hampshire will merge with Winchester, Test Valley and New Forest to become the council for central Hampshire.

Councillor Peter Chegwyn, a member of Gosport Road Safety Council, described it as a bad move.

He said: 'It will do nothing to improve road safety in Gosport and I don't think it will save money either.

'You can't expect people in Havant to know road safety issues in Gosport.

'The local knowledge will be lost.'

The county council has cited government cuts to the road safety grant and other budget pressures as one of the reasons for the move.

Road safety council members were asked for their response to the proposals.

Seven supported the change, including Hampshire Constabulary and Hampshire Fire and Rescue. Four opposed it, while eight were neither for or against.

Councillor Cyril Hilton, who is chairman of Havant Road Safety Council, said: 'I agree with it. We have very similar issues across our areas.

'People won't have to travel so far from the county council, which will save them money.'

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