Motorists brace for 10 months of traffic chaos

DELAYS The former railway bridge in Wych Lane in Bridgemary is to be demolished to make way for the rapid bus route.  Picture: Steve Reid (110764-959)
DELAYS The former railway bridge in Wych Lane in Bridgemary is to be demolished to make way for the rapid bus route. Picture: Steve Reid (110764-959)
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DRIVERS are bracing themselves for road chaos as a major route is closed for 10 months.

Wych Lane, in Gosport, is to shut from Monday for work building the controversial Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).

The road surface will be raised to the same level as the railway tracks, while the bridge over Wych Lane will be removed.

Gas and water mains will also be taken out along with telephone and electricity cables.

And traffic will be diverted through Gregson Avenue and Cunningham Drive to the A32 Fareham Road.

Bridgemary North Councillor Dennis Wright says the closure of Wych Lane – the main route to and from the estate – will cause ‘utter chaos’ for commuters.

He said: ‘The road had been closed before on a temporary basis and it caused problems then.

‘If you go down Wych Lane in the morning there are queues and queues of traffic.

‘It’s going to cause utter chaos.

‘But it don’t think there’s any choice if they are determined to press ahead with this BRT scheme.’

Hampshire County Council could not confirm whether it had always planned to shut Wych Lane for 10 months.

Cllr Wright believed initial plans were for it to be closed for eight months.

County transport boss, Cllr Mel Kendal, admitted the works would cause disruption.

It comes as work is also carried out around the busy Newgate Lane.

Cllr Kendal said: ‘The works here are particularly complicated and have to be carefully phased to enable a gas main, water main, telecom and electricity cables to be moved safely before the main junction can be completed.

‘I recognise this will cause inconvenience but I would like to assure residents that we will do all we can to carry out this work as quickly and efficiently as possible and minimise disruption as far as we can.’

Viv Morge, of Wych Lane, who has campaigned against the BRT on the grounds that it was killing protected wildlife, said it would be a ‘nightmare’.

Ms Morge, who saw her fight with the county council go all the way to the Supreme Court, said: ‘This will be horrendous, and when it’s up and running it will be even more horrendous.’

Bus diversions will be put into place.

A free shuttle bus service will be introduced from Nobes Avenue shops to Tukes Avenue, Brading Avenue, Brewers Lane and Nobes Avenue between 7am and 7pm Monday to Saturday.