Wait goes on for Stubbington Bypass funds as Chancellor keeps cards close to chest

THE wait for government funding on the '˜vital' Stubbington bypass is set to go on, after the chancellor's Autumn Statement kept residents guessing.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 24th November 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 29th November 2016, 10:29 am
Traffic queuing in Fareham
Traffic queuing in Fareham

With the 2.3-mile stretch of road from Titchfield Road to Gosport Road already approved by council bosses and £8.5m of local funding in place, all eyes were on Philip Hammond.

The expectation was that he would announce that the government would be providing the remaining £25.7m to kick-start the project.

But the statement brought more frustration, as the chancellor could only say that £683m of funding would be split between the local enterprise partnerships of London, the south east and the south west.

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He added that the figures for each area would be broken down ‘shortly’ but the delay has led to urgent calls for a decision to be given.

Trevor Ayling, of Crofton Lane, Stubbington said: ‘The roads in Stubbington are absolute chaos. We need this bypass immediately so cars can stop congesting our roads.’

Leader of Fareham Borough Council Councillor Sean Woodward said: ‘It is very frustrating that the wait is set to continue.

‘However, we’ve done everything we possibly could to make the case for the bypass so hopefully we will find out its fate in the next few weeks.’

Stewart Dunn, Hampshire Chamber of Commerce’s chief executive also expressed his frustrations, saying: ‘There was a lot of froth at the top but little detail further down to help businesses in our region.

‘We need to understand how Hampshire will share in the benefits of the Chancellor’s national infrastructure initiatives.’

Councillor Shaun Cunningham, who represents the Liberal Democrats on the council said: ‘To residents, it doesn’t matter about whether we get the funding, we just need to know a timeline.

‘We want to know when this piece of infrastructure is coming.’

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage met Mr Hammond earlier in the year to stress the importance of getting the funding for the bypass and is confident it will go ahead.

She said: ‘The bypass is the second-biggest priority for the Solent Local Enterprise so we should get the money we need.’

Fareham MP Suella Fernandes added that she hoped ‘the commitments made by the chancellor’ will ensure the funding for the road is delivered.

Gosport councillor John Beavis added that the Stubbington bypass would also help the Daedalus Enterprise Zone reach its potential and would be the road into it.

A spokesperson for HM Treasury said: ‘LEPs have the autonomy to determine which projects they fund in response to the individual challenges in their local area. Projects should support economic growth and be matched by local investment.’

The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership, which submitted the bid to government for the funding, could not confirm last night how much of the £683m would be allocated to it and if the funds included the millions needed for the bypass.