Bus gate survey could result in road opening trial

File photo of the M27

Picture: Paul Jacobs

Traffic as delayed roadworks shut motorway

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PEOPLE are being told that if they want a controversial bus gate to be opened permanently they need to vote for it in a new poll.

Every resident in Whiteley is to be given a voting form in the next few weeks and asked whether they want the electronically-controlled bollards at the end of Yew Tree Drive to be lowered for good.

At present only buses and emergency vehicles can use the junction.

If the vote comes out in favour of opening the junction with Botley Road, a six-month trial is likely to take place from the middle of next year.

Recently there has been a petition by Whiteley Parish Council calling for the junction to be opened, and a separate one calling for it to stay closed, collected by the Burridge and Swanwick Residents Association.

Hampshire county councillor for Winchester southern wards, Cllr Patricia Stallard, said: ‘I’ve been negotiating very hard behind the scenes and I had a final meeting with councillors Sean Woodward and Mel Kendal and we have agreed that we will put out a survey to all Whiteley residents, in the Fareham and Winchester districts, including people who live in Burridge and Curdridge as they will be affected as well.

‘It’s up to the people to vote in the way they want so we can act on it. If there’s a clear decision that people want it down, the trial will start around June next year.

‘We will probably review that at the end of the year then we will get together and look at the outcome before making any decisions on the future.’

The results of a traffic survey taken by Fareham Borough Council when the bollards were down for 17 days during July whilst roadworks took place revealed that up to 3,500 vehicles a day used the junction.

Hampshire councillor for Fareham Sarisbury, Cllr Sean Woodward said: ‘There will be a trial if those results stack up and if there’s traffic mitigation put in place in advance.

‘What is unknown is how the new Whiteley shopping centre will affect this.

‘People on the Fareham side might legitimately ask why should the people living in Swanwick and Burridge be the safety valve for a Winchester City development.