Multimillion-pound plan to upgrade Hayling Island's roads delayed after council vote

A MULTIMILLION-POUND plan to update Hayling Island’s ageing roads has been delayed after councillors were left unconvinced it would remedy traffic woes faced by residents.

Wednesday, 11th March 2020, 11:21 am
Updated Wednesday, 11th March 2020, 4:45 pm

Havant Borough Council's planning chief, Cllr Tim Pike, now has to reassess the Hayling Island Transport Addendum he unveiled last month.

It faced heavy scrutiny last night when it became only the second ever decision to be ‘called in’ since Havant Borough Council began in 1974.

The move from Hayling West councillor Clare Satchwell gave members on the Operations and Place Shaping board a chance to have their say, after Cllr Pike implemented the plan without the full council's approval, as is permitted by the authority's own framework.

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Councillor Tim Pike. Picture: Sarah Standing (020519-7853)

After a passionate two-hour debate councillors voted 4-3 in favour of pushing the plan back for further work, drawing applause from residents.

Cllr Satchwell told Cllr Pike and his panel of council officers: ‘I do not believe the uniqueness of Hayling Island has been addressed here.

‘If we are not unique, demonstrate to us other examples of places that are truly single-lane, on and off.’

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Langstone Bridge, the only road on and off Hayling Island. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

The addendum vowed to update junctions at Mill Rythe, West Lane, Northney Road and Langstone Road with roundabouts, crossings and turns.

But Save Our Island chairman, Dave Parham, and Nick Hounsell, formerly a professor of highways and traffic with the Transportation Research Group, argued the measures would still fail to address the island's ‘major constraint’ – the fixed capacity of Langstone Bridge and the A3023.

Asking the panel whether it had calculated the bridge's capacity, they were told the measurement is ‘dynamic’ and ‘no single figure can be used'.

Residents fear the road could be irreversibly clogged if plans for 1,000 new homes on the island go ahead.

Mr Parham said: ‘The large housing allocations projects on Hayling Island should consequently be delayed until the reality of the island’s future is known and understood.

‘This is the last chance to get this infrastructure plan right. Do it now for the future generations and call for the TA to be corrected.’

Board members also raised concerns over how the project would be funded and fears that areas the addendum earmarks for further road mitigation measures, including the Hayling Billy Trail, could be ‘underwater' if planners did not factor in a predicted global sea level rise of 1.4m.

Cllr Pike said: ‘I’m disappointed I and the officers were not able to convince all members we had taken the plan to a sufficient level of detail to give them the reassurance they were looking for.

‘They’ve asked for some additional details. I don't believe it'll be too difficult to provide them, so I will endeavour to do that as quickly as possible.’