Campaign starts to get new bypass built before 2026

Caroline Dinenage MP hosts a tour of Gosport with transport minister, Norman Baker. They were joined by Gosport councillor Mark Hook.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (13787-1)
Caroline Dinenage MP hosts a tour of Gosport with transport minister, Norman Baker. They were joined by Gosport councillor Mark Hook.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (13787-1)
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WAITING 13 years for a road to solve traffic problems in Gosport and Fareham is something the area can ill afford.

That is the sentiment behind Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage’s campaign to persuade councillors and government to spend £25m on a Stubbington bypass.

Transport for South Hampshire and Isle of Wight will keep the plan for the road until 2026, when it says funding is more likely.

But Ms Dinenage will soon meet Cllr Mel Kendal, the executive member in charge of transport at Hampshire County Council, to discuss the planned road.

She wants the council to look at spending the cash and to work on funding bids.

And Ms Dinenage said she will continue to lobby central government, with Patrick McLoughlin MP, secretary of state for transport, due to visit Gosport later this year.

‘Although it’s only £25m, which in transport terms isn’t particularly expensive, in terms of the local budget it would be a huge impact.

‘It’s something I need to lobby central government for, so I’ve got Patrick McLoughlin to come down so he can understand the situation.

‘The trouble is we’ve been neglected for so long on the Gosport peninsula for our share of the (county) funding.

‘The onus is on me to make sure this is now put right, particularly as we’ve got the Daedalus enterprise zone, which needs to be supported.’

It comes after Norman Baker MP, minister for regional and local transport, visited Gosport in March and said he supported plans for the road.

A spokesperson at the county council said initial technical work had been completed including looking at routes around Stubbington.

The spokesperson added: ‘A significant amount of further work will be needed to bring forward a proposal for consultation and thereafter for funding bids.

‘Funding for such work will need to be considered against other potential schemes and projects across both the LEP area and the county as a whole.

‘However the funding picture at national level is changing, and there may be more opportunity to secure funding for a major highway scheme over the next few years than in the last decade.’

Sean Woodward, the executive leader of Fareham Borough Council said the county council was unlikely to provide the cash.

He said: ‘If Patrick McLoughlin wants to provide the funding for it then I have little doubt the council would support the building of the bypass for Stubbington.

‘Money is everything – it’s an aspiration we all share.

‘I personally see no way of paying for it from local funding, without (housing) development, and of course no one wants that.’