Residents’ association says Wickham traffic is at unacceptable level

Traffic on the A32 at Wickham
Traffic on the A32 at Wickham
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RESIDENTS spent 12 hours counting traffic passing through their village in a bid to prove it cannot cope with any more development.

Wickham Residents’ Association has produced a traffic census to assess the effect of plans for more houses in Wickham.

25/04/12  news''Traffic on the A32 at Wickham.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (121460-4) ENGPPP00120120425155246

25/04/12 news''Traffic on the A32 at Wickham.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (121460-4) ENGPPP00120120425155246

Members of the association took to the streets with clickers and counted more than 16,500 vehicle movements through the two main roads - A32 and A334 - from 6.30am and 6.30pm on Monday, September 8.

‘All who took part in the survey were amazed,’ said secretary Anton Hanney.

Wickham Residents’ Association was formed earlier this year to tackle development in the village, which is next to the fields where 6,000-home town Welborne is planned.

One of the association’s main concerns is the increase in traffic that new town will come through the village due to these new developments.

Mr Hanney said: ‘When Winchester City Council approved the building of more than 200 homes in the village, it assessed Wickham’s traffic as being moderately busy. It beggars belief that the council should think that an average of one vehicle every 2.6 seconds for a solid 12 hours is in any sense moderate. And our census is understated, as we did not carry out a count of vehicles using other roads in Wickham.’

The census counted more than 8,600 vehicles moving from the direction of Fareham. Mr Hanney said a large number of vehicles were using the A32 and A334 through the village to avoid hold­ups on the M27.

Paul Watters, head of roads and transport policy at the AA, said the most reliable figures are those collected by the Department for Transport as these are collected from manual counts, similar to what the association conducted, and combined with data from 180 automatic traffic counters and road lengths to produce overall estimates.

The Department for Transport carried out its last count in Wickham in 2013, which showed the two roads to have a daily average of 24,388 traffic movements.

Its figures show the A32 has 9,092 vehicle movements per day and the A334 has 15,296 – which are under and over its daily UK average for an a road which is 12,800.

Fareham’s council leader and the county’s executive member for transport Sean Woodward said he would be keen to see how the census compares to council figures.