NO EXCUSES, the government must stump up the money for a Stubbington bypass to end traffic misery once and for all.
That was the defiant message during a tense debate over the issue at a Gosport election hustings held by The News last night.
Frustration was voiced over the amount of talk and lack of action over the scheme, which has been decades in the making and yet never materialised.
Ukip candidate Christopher Wood pledged that securing the £30m needed for the project would be his top priority as MP – and promised he would quit if it does not materialises.
‘What I have been told by Hampshire County Council is, we will only get the money for the bypass through once we have got planning permission,’ he said.
‘However, money has been found to fund Newgate Lane south before planning has been granted. I am livid we have not had the money put in place. Thirty million pounds should have been put in, it’s been talked about for 40 years, there’s no excuse for it.
I am livid we have not had the money put in place. Thirty million pounds should have been put in, it’s been talked about for 40 years, there’s no excuse for it.Gosport Ukip candidate Christopher Wood
‘I am the only one who has promised that if I do not find the £30m over the next five years, then I will resign.’
But sitting Tory MP Caroline Dinenage said the focus needed to be on fighting for a ‘package’ of benefits to ensure wider problems with the road network are solved including the new Newgate Lane south, changes to Peel Common roundabout and improvements to the A27 Segensworth to Fareham.
She insisted more had been done in the last five years to progress the plans than in the last five decades – but said the cash can’t be handed over until the bypass scheme is ‘shovel ready’.
Green candidate Monica Cassidy admitted she was against the principle of more roads being built, but said there is no other option given the impact traffic is having on pollution levels.
Lib Dem candidate Rob Hylands said: ‘We have got to stop talking about it and get that money from somewhere. If I get into parliament, I will find out where that money comes from.’
Labour’s Alan Durrant also pledged to help given the problems on the A32.
It comes after 75 per cent of 490 people who responded to a consultation led by Hampshire County Council said they were in favour of the bypass going ahead. The next News hustings is taking place with Fareham candidates at Fareham College tonight from 6.30pm.
The events are being held in conjunction with Coffin Mew.
Candidates debate issues such as GP waiting times
CONCERNS over GP waiting times, air pollution and the environment were the other hot topics at last night’s hustings.
Tory MP Caroline Dinenage said councils need to ensure developers, such as those seeking to build sites like Welborne, think about renewable energy and include solar panels on houses.
Ukip’s Christopher Wood agreed but said solar energy needed to be extended to schools and new businesses.
Candidates said improving education was a priority in order to help young people get better jobs - with Green candidate Monica Cassidy adding it was important they get good ‘life skills’ too.