£90m blueprint to tackle traffic congestion in Gosport and Fareham

Traffic congestion in Newgate Lane
Traffic congestion in Newgate Lane
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Cllr Hannah Hockaday

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WORK worth millions of pounds is hoped to crack the congestion problem in Gosport and Fareham under a new joined up plan between the areas.

Four schemes will be carried out over three years as leaders in the area want to tackle the problem as a whole – rather than solving one bottleneck and simply pushing it to another road.

Hampshire County Council’s plans include the Stubbington bypass, work on Peel Common roundabout, Newgate Lane and on the A27 corridor.

County transport chief Councillor Sean Woodward said: ‘All of these places cause all those colossal tailbacks of every day of every week, really grinding on people. This package I’m looking to approve is there to fix it.

‘It’s the most significant package of expenditure for Fareham and Gosport ever. These are a comprehensive series of improvements, with several stages running all the way from Peel Common, north to junction 11 and west to junction nine of the M27. At the moment we’ve got Western Way under way and getting buses off Quay Street roundabout.’

As reported, work on the north of Newgate Lane and Western Way has already started and buses are being taken off Quay Street Roundabout.

Cash for the projects, which will finish in 2017/18, is yet to come.

The £90m figure covers a wider transport package, which includes the cost of junction 10 of the M27 for Welborne.

Cllr Woodward said he wants the bulk of the cash to come from government and to fund all parts of the project.

The designs are in the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership’s draft economic plan, to be submitted at the end of the month.

Government will decide in July how much LEPs across the country get.

Gosport’s MP Caroline Dinenage said the cash is much-needed in the area.

She said: ‘The local infrastructure is in such a difficult position. If you were to regenerate one bit you’re only going to cause problems somewhere else.

‘To me, it’s just the money we haven’t had in previous decades.’

Councillor Mark Hook, leader of Gosport Borough Council, said the improvements are bound to improve the Gosport’s economic prosperity.

He said: ‘For many years now we’ve been campaigning for a bypass.

‘If we could take 20 per cent of the traffic off the A32 that would be a tremendous help. The major bottleneck is Quay Street roundabout. If you can put in a bypass, that will free traffic flow.’

Councillors are set to vote on the report on March 17 and make further consultations about the works.

The funding for the major road projects in the area has yet to arrive in local authorities’ bank accounts.

But politicians are sure that without the Enterprise Zone at the former HMS Daedalus airfield in Lee-on-the-Solent, the possibility of getting the cash would not have even emerged.

It is expected to see 3,500 jobs created, leading to a need for better access to and from the peninsula.

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage said: ‘Daedalus is the catalyst.

‘That’s why I’m so proud we managed to achieve the status.

‘In order for things like the Daedalus enterprise zone to be successful we need the funding to replace the infrastructure, which is not fit for purpose any more.’

Residents in Stubbington are celebrating too. Councillor Christopher Wood, county councillor for Fareham Crofton, said: ‘It was vital that our bypass started from Gosport Road, which is what 70 per cent of the public in the consultation requested.’