AN URGENT review will be carried out after a multimillion-pound package of roadworks left drivers trying to leave a business park stuck for hours.
The ‘improvement’ work to Newgate Lane, in Fareham, has left customers of businesses on Speedfields Industrial Park trapped in their vehicles, unable to get out of the car park.
One angry taxi driver, who did not wish to be named, said he was stuck in Asda car park for more than 90 minutes on Friday afternoon.
He said: ‘No-one could get out of a parking space so frozen food defrosted in people’s cars. No-one could get to schools to pick up children. I was supposed to collect a customer but I was in the car park and not moving. I had an hour and half of work without pay.’
Asda’s customer trading manager Chris Lockyer called on Hampshire County Council, which brought in the work, to urgently revisit it and consider building another exit.
He said: ‘There are two lanes either way at Newgate Lane roundabout and further up, and the traffic volume at peak times puts such a strain on the car park that it becomes gridlocked.’
He said the issue has seen incidents of road rage erupt, and people have even lit cigarettes on the petrol station’s forecourt due to being trapped and stressed.
He said Screwfix, Wickes, Aldi and Topps Tiles were facing the same problems.
Sean Woodward, executive member for transport at the council, said that the scheme had improved traffic flow from Gosport to Fareham, but said the council would conduct a review in light of the problems.
He said: ‘The aim of the Newgate Lane scheme is to help traffic flow and ease congestion north to south which requires a balance to be struck between through traffic movement and access to side roads.
‘Now that traffic patterns have settled, we will do an intermediate review to see if we’ve got this balance right, look into the causes of any issues and any immediate measures to help improve the flows in and out of Speedfields in particular.’
He said the next phase of work, at Peel Common Roundabout, is due to finish within the next few months and the additional capacity and signal control should keep the traffic moving south, helping people at Speedfields.
Cllr Woodward added: ‘This overall package is needed to help ease congestion on a highway network close to capacity. We need to see all the measures in place to deliver the full benefits for traffic, businesses and residents.’