MP joins the fight to improve Havant’s congestion woes

David Willetts
David Willetts

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HAVANT’s MP has vowed to help bring about a solution to the town’s long-running parking problems.

David Willetts said he plans to meet with senior figures at Scottish & Southern Energy in a bid to thrash out a way forward.

The congestion on residential roads around the town centre has got progressively worse since 2009.

Around 2,400 people work at the energy firm’s call centre in Penner Road – yet there are only 670 parking spaces.

A shuttle bus that took workers from the town centre to the site used to be subsidised by the company, but is no longer.

Mr Willetts said: ‘I’m trying to find out why they have done that. We need to encourage it to be used more.

‘The basic problem is the number of parking places round Langstone Broadmarsh Park does not meet the level of demand.

‘There’s significant overflow into Langstone and up to Havant. After the council has imposed restrictions on the roads, it has pushed the problem further afield.’

He added: ‘They desperately need to either invest in more parking on the site, or more parking in the centre of Havant or have more car sharing, or a combination.’

Stewart Johnson, chairman of Brockhampton Residents’ Association, said: ‘Something needs to be done somewhere.

‘If he is actually able to do something, then great.’

He suggested the authorities need to look into a park and ride scheme using some of the car parking spaces at Broadmarsh Coastal Park.

Councillor David Guest, who chairs the Broadmarsh Travel Forum, explained that the energy company had been willing to build more parking spaces years ago.

However, due to government planning rules, it had to invest in a green travel plan instead.

Now that obligatory period is over, Cllr Guest said there was no more money left in the pot to invest in a new car park.

A multi-storey car park on the site could cost over £10m, he said.

Cllr Guest implored Mr Willetts to go to the top to try and get more funding for Havant’s infrastructure.

He said: ‘It’s going to get worse as development in Solent Road and Harts Farm Way increases. Major infrastructure solutions need to be found.’

Officials at SSE said they are continuing to review the parking situation.