Devolution proposals could free up funds for £40m M27 Junction 10 works

Congestion on the M27
Congestion on the M27
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  • Solent Combined Authority proposal could fund £25m needed for works on Junction 10 of the M27 Critics say devolution proposal is ‘entirely unrealistic’
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VITAL improvements to improve a motorway junction could start work in 2021.

Works on Junction 10 of the M27 to allow it to be open to both eastbound and westbound traffic have been mooted for years.

The works would be tied in with the devolution deal as part of the bid for the combined authority

Councillor Sean Woodward

Now, Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council says that the £25m of funding needed to start the project could be brought in as part of a devolution package from central government.

Cllr Woodward said: ‘We have already secured £15m for the works from Highways England and now we are looking in to bring the extra funding needed for this project.’

Currently, traffic can only leave the motorway on the westbound side and join it to head eastbound.

Portsmouth City Council, Southampton City Council and the Isle of Wight Council are working on proposals that would create a cabinet-like tier of local government called the Solent Combined Authority.

If central government grants the proposals, the councils say that funding to improve roads in the area could be acquired.

Cllr Woodward believes that the proposed works at Junction 10 would then receive funding as a result of it.

He added: ‘The works would be tied in with the devolution deal as part of the bid for the combined authority.’

Previously, Cllr Woodward had said that the developers of the 6,000-home Welborne estate would have to cough up the remaining funds for the project.

Cllr Woodward said that remains the plan but while construction on Welborne stalls, the combined authority could bring in the funds to speed up construction on the junction.

While the Solent area’s unitary authorities move forward with their combined authority plan, Hampshire County Council are looking at creating a unitary authority for the whole of the county that would absorb borough and district councils.

Chris Wood, county councillor for Fareham Crofton, said: ‘We have had these works promised for years and they have never been delivered.

‘The combined authority idea is entirely unrealistic and they are dreaming if they think it will free up all these funds for projects.’