Whiteley bollards are lowered

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AUTOMATIC bollards have been lowered due to an ‘overwhelming response’ from residents – but councillors are urging people to drive carefully.

A council-run survey found 83 per cent of Whiteley residents wanted to lower the bollards in Yew Tree Drive for a three-month trial period.

The automatic bollards have been the centre of controversy as some claimed that lowering them would encourage rat-running, while others organised petitions to have them dropped to ease congestion out of Whiteley.

Leader of Fareham Borough Council Sean Woodward said: ‘Over 50 per cent of residents returned their surveys, which in response terms is incredible, and there was strong support among them for the mitigation works that I proposed.’

Work has already been carried out on the road to prepare it for a six-month opening while the Highways Agency carries out work at junction 9 on the M27.

Rumble strips and extra white lines have been added in attempt to slow down motorists, as well as flashing 30mph signs.

Cllr Woodward said: ‘Because of the existing roadworks, which we were not warned about, it’s not a genuine trial.

‘The majority of residents opted for a trial so it will start as the motorway works finish in September. This means the bus gate will be open until the end of the year.’

Cllr Woodward said that cameras have been put up to monitor the speed and size of vehicles using the road.

He added: ‘There’s no point having a foot-high pile of results at the end of the year, so we will be collating results as we go along so we can make a decision quickly at the end of the trial.’

The council will consider introducing a 20mph speed limit along the road as it passes by a school and it would like to prevent HGVs using it.

County councillor Patricia Stallard represents the Winchester half of Whiteley.

She said: ‘The majority of Winchester Whiteley residents have wanted access through Yew Tree Drive for a long time.

‘As additional homes are built, and the new shopping centre opens in May, it’s appropriate that traffic flow systems be reviewed.

‘I’d urge people to be especially careful when using Yew Tree Drive as many parents use that route to get to the school and the safety of our children is paramount.’