A path linking two growing estates has finally opened and given children a safe route to school.
For almost two years, children attending Berewood Primary have had to trudge along the busy Hambledon Road in Waterlooville to get to and from school.
It came as a bridge needed to be built across the River Wallington, which rises in Waterlooville.
Now there is a safe pedestrian route over the bridge, which cuts across the Waterlooville Major Development Area where 3,000 homes are being built.
But it’s not all good news. The Taylor Wimpey end of the bridge is still not completed, meaning the bridge is closed to traffic.
The other main developer, Grainger, has completed the highway at its end.
Neil Lander-Brinkley, a Denmead parish councillor, was pleased the pedestrian route was open, but remarked Waterlooville now had a ‘bridge that goes nowhere’.
He said: ‘The Taylor Wimpey end of the long-promised, long-overdue link road and bridge is still some way from completion.
‘However, a footpath giving pedestrian access has now been opened up and this will provide a much safer route to school.’
Patricia Stallard, a local county councillor, said: ‘This link bridge is almost two years overdue on the Taylor Wimpey section.
‘I have been very concerned about young children who live on the Taylor Wimpey part of the estate and who attend the new Berewood School on the Grainger part.
‘Young children have had to walk from the Taylor Wimpey site, along the Hambledon Road towards Waterlooville.’
After walking the new route, she added: ‘The pathway is flat and wide enough for children’s buggies and gives young families a safe and pleasant route to school, away from the busy main road, although we all look forward to the day when the link road is completed.’
A Taylor Wimpey spokeswoman said: ‘Given that the link bridge is situated immediately adjacent to live construction sites with vehicular access crossing, we feel it is not suitable for public access at this time and have delayed the opening. We remain committed to completing and opening the link bridge as soon as is safe to do so, which we anticipate will be in September.’