Welborne update: ‘This is the last chance to talk about transport’

Fears were raised at the Welborne inquiry over traffic
Fears were raised at the Welborne inquiry over traffic
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CONCERNS have been raised at a council’s decision not to do a full traffic assessment into the planned 6,000-home new town Welborne.

At yesterday’s independent inspection into the scheme, transport was top of the agenda.

Representatives from residents’ associations voiced their concerns after Hampshire County Council said a transport assessment would be completed if a planning application for Welborne was put in. This would happen early next year if independent inspector David Hogger finds the plan sound.

At the moment, the council is said it was using a computer model to predict the impact Welborne will have on traffic.

It says the programme takes in a variety of factors and is the most accurate and useful model available and had been used successfully in other parts of the country.

Brenda Clapperton, secretary of the Fareham Society, was not convinced.

She said: ‘This is the last chance we have to talk about these issues.

‘We need this transport assessment done to show the impact of traffic and air quality for Fareham.

‘I cannot believe that if we get to the planning application stage that the council won’t approve Welborne because of traffic issues. This is our last chance.’

And Shaun Cunningham, who organised Operation Snap, which encouraged people to take pictures of congestion in Fareham, agreed. He said: ‘Traffic is a major part of Welborne.

‘If we don’t get the traffic situation right then there will be more chaos than there already is.

‘Residents in Fareham clearly don’t have confidence in the council’s answers to traffic.

‘We need more evidence to show the impact and it needs to be done before Welborne is decided.’

The wider traffic impact in neighbouring communities at Funtley, Wickham and north Fareham was also discussed.

As previously reported in The News, opponents to the plan think there is too much traffic in Fareham to deal with the addition of Welborne.

The council aims to improve Junction 10 of the M27 as well as smaller junctions in Wickham, Knowle and Funtley to tackle the traffic problems.

For Ed Morrell the issue of transport has been discussed for too long.

The committee chairman for Funtley Village Society said: ‘It was in 2005 that traffic issues first started and still nine years later, it is being discussed.

‘It being considered at the planning stage is not good enough.

‘Transport is a key part of Welborne.’

Inspector Mr Hogger said: ‘I think it would be helpful to know what has been done now and what’s being done in the forthcoming transport assessment that will go with the planning application.’

He added: ‘I want to see if the council has done all it can up to now.’

The report produced by the council will be published at a later date to be commented on.