AN announcement on funding for the Stubbington bypass could be made ‘within the next week’, says a council leader.
Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council, has said residents should not be worrying about whether the long-anticipated road will be funded, despite the scheme not being included in a Department for Transport report on government-funded road schemes.
We are expecting to know more soon, hopefully within the next weekCouncillor Sean Woodward
For the project to go ahead, the government needs to allocate £25.7m for work to begin.
It is hoped the bypass will ease long-standing traffic problems in Fareham and Gosport.
Cllr Woodward said: ‘We are expecting to know more soon, hopefully within the next week.
‘The government likes to make a plethora of announcements in order to release the details of schemes at separate times so residents should not be worrying about it.’
The Department for Transport has released a long list of road schemes across the country that have received funding following last week’s Autumn Statement.
For the Portsmouth area, the only announcement was that Portsmouth City Council was to be handed £111,000 to help the authority with fixing potholes.
The Autumn Statement’s announcement saw chancellor, Philip Hammond award £683m of funding for the local enterprise partnerships (LEP) in London, the south east and the south west.
According to Cllr Woodward, any announcement on the Stubbington bypass would come once the Solent LEP knows how much funding it will receive from that pot, and the councillor, who is a director on the LEP’s board, says it could be next week.
The 2.3-mile stretch of road from Titchfield Road to Gosport Road has already been approved by council bosses and £8.5m of local funding remains in place.
Suella Fernandes, Fareham MP, said: ‘Thanks to the efforts of Caroline Dinenage and Fareham Borough Council, we are closer to securing this vital local infrastructure.
‘I have actively supported this campaign and lobbied the chancellor for further government funding. The bypass will be hugely beneficial to my constituents.’
Councillor Chris Wood, who represents Stubbington on the Borough Council said the bypass was ‘absolutely essential’ to curing traffic congestion. A Department for Transport spokesman said it was assessing the funding allocation and will be able to say more ‘in due course’.