Gosport neighbours of a rat run street to set up community speedwatch team

CAMPAIGNERS are taking action to stop a busy residential road being used as a rat-run to beat congestion.

Wednesday, 4th January 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 1:00 pm
Forest Way in Gosport Picture: Google Maps

People living in Forest Way, Gosport, say drivers have hit speeds up to 60mph as they look to avoid congestion on the A32.

The Holbrook street has a play area near the leisure centre and residents say there have been near misses between vehicles and children crossing the road.

Speed bumps cannot be installed because the area is a route used by emergency services.

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Gosport Borough Councillor Patrick Bergin, who represents the Rowner and Holbrook ward, has been working with residents in the area.

Tory Cllr Bergin said: ‘Forest Way is being used as a rat run when the A32 gets clogged up and people are cutting through to get to the next set of traffic lights.

‘I’ve lived in the area for the past 10 years and it’s been a problem as long as I can remember. The residents are sick of it of it and have had enough.

‘Because of the play area, children cross over quite often and sometimes forget they’re on a busy street.’

Cllr Marcus Murphy added: ‘Over the years there have been a number of incidents.’

Hampshire County Council said it improved safety measures along Forest Way in 2009. This included road surface treatment, together with improved road markings and some enhanced warning signs.

A spokeswoman said: ‘Since then surveys show that the scheme is still performing well and that cars, on average, are travelling at lower speeds than before the scheme was implemented.’

Cllr Bergin said there has been keen interest from residents to form a community speedwatch team.

Volunteers will use speed guns to regulate how quick cars travel down the street. Anyone caught breaking speed limits will get a letter from the police and could face prosecution in the future.

A spokeswoman for Hampshire Constabulary said: ‘We have been in contact with residents in the area who have shown an interest in setting up a community speedwatch group.

‘There are six volunteers who are waiting to complete their training.’