Developer vows to run extra buses for Whiteley

DEVELOPMENT The area where the North Whiteley development is planned, off Whiteley Lane
DEVELOPMENT The area where the North Whiteley development is planned, off Whiteley Lane
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DEVELOPERS have pledged to improve public transport to a town which has been notoriously isolated since it was first created 20 years ago.

The North Whiteley Consortium is planning to double the size of the town, next to junction nine of the M27, by building up to 3,000 new homes north of the existing community.

And as a result, it will open new access to Whiteley for all road vehicles from the north through Botley for the first time.

The consortium wants to run a bus service from Fareham, through Whiteley and across to Hedge End every 15 to 20 minutes.

There is currently only one service for the town that runs from Fareham through Whiteley to Locks Heath. Apart from two early morning departures, it runs every two hours until 6pm.

But concerns have already been raised about who will fund the service.

Sarisbury ward councillor for Fareham, Cllr Sean Woodward said: ‘It would be ideal, if people are going to use it.

‘But a business company isn’t going to run a service that isn’t going to be used and the county council isn’t going to subsidise a service with one passenger.

‘The bus provision to Whiteley is very poor indeed at the moment and the timings don’t fit in very well with what people want, such as commuting for work or college.’

Tony Russell, representing the consortium, said: ‘Firstly we identified the routes we thought would work, we’ve put together a time-table we think would work and put together a business case for that.

‘It is an ongoing process, but the service we have put together, I think, stands a good chance of working on a firm commercial standing.’

Botley Parish Council has also raised worries about increased traffic on its roads if a new access route opens.

The consortium is expecting to submit its first planning applications next spring.