New Hampshire bypass could end up around £10m cheaper than first estimated

THE construction of a new bypass in Hampshire could be around £10m cheaper than first estimated.

Friday, 13th May 2022, 2:08 pm

Hampshire County Council has been putting in groundwork for a bypass to be built in Botley, which will run between Woodhouse Lane and the A3051.

At the moment, anyone driving between Hedge End and Wickham or Bishop’s Waltham has to travel through Botley itself, creating congestion particularly through Botley High Street.

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Work is due to begin in spring next year. Picture: Brian Eyre

Initial estimates for the project came in at £32m - but now, the county council expects the scheme to cost £23.1m instead.

The news comes as the county council looks to involve an 'experienced' contractor in the project.

Speaking at a council decision day yesterday (May 12) the director for economy, transport and environment, Stuart Jarvis, said: 'The project appraisal seeks approval to get early contractor involvment.

'The reason for this is the uncertainty both in terms of the price and availability of construction capacity.

'We must ensure that we minimise the county council's exposure to cost inflation or deliverability issues.'

Planning permission for the Stubbington Bypass was secured in 2017, and although the scheme has largely been designed by the county council, it will need specialist input from a contractor on the logistics of the project.

These include the construction of structural elements, site access and material sourcing.

The county council hopes that involving a developer early will minimise inflation costs, which are currently increasing the cost of projects by 20-30 per cent.

Newly-appointed Conservative leader, Cllr Rob Humby, said: ‘There have been detailed discussions with council officers and I fully support this.

'I think going for early contractor involvement is a very sensible approach.’

As per the county council's plans, the bypass will also have a new shared path for pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians.

The county council also believes that public transport will benefit by a reduction in traffic - and subsequently in travel times.

Local operators have not expressed an interest in changing existing bus routes.

Work on the bypass is due to begin in spring next year, and will be funded by developer contributions and forecast capital receipts arising from the sale of the Uplands Farm development sites.