Elderly are ‘trapped in homes’ after Gosport road diversion

NO GO The junction of Stokes Bay Road and Jellicoe Avenue, which buses are avoiding
NO GO The junction of Stokes Bay Road and Jellicoe Avenue, which buses are avoiding
M27. Picture: Malcolm Wells

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ELDERLY people say they are becoming trapped in their homes after roadworks forced buses away from a main road.

The popular 88 service in Gosport no longer goes down Jellicoe Avenue because of work being carried out along Stokes Bay Road.

It means many elderly people have to walk much further to get to a bus stop, while the frail have no choice but to remain indoors.

The works – which include building new cycle lanes – are expected to last until May 27.

Muriel Bray, 87, lives in Jellicoe Avenue and suffers from arthritis and a heart condition.

She would have to walk to the bus stop at the War Memorial Hospital in order to get into the centre of Gosport or Fareham.

‘I am speaking for everybody that I meet,’ she said.

‘If we get any shopping we can’t carry it all that way.

‘Our road is half a mile long. There are people far worse than me. People my age don’t usually have their own transport. It’s keeping people in.’

Councillor Peter Edgar, ward councillor for Alverstoke, has taken up residents’ complaints.

He said: ‘There are a huge number of elderly people living in this area that rely totally on the buses.

‘It just seems illogical to me.

‘In an age when we are encouraging people to use public transport, more effort should be made to keep the optimum service provision to local people.’

First Bus said it had used a route along Western Way and Jellicoe Avenue at first, but it had caused problems and delays to their services with narrow roads due to parked cars.

Spokeswoman Karen Baxter said: ‘We understand that this move has upset some local people and we are now working with our colleagues in Hampshire County Council to see what can be done to further address the issue.

‘As things stand however the diversion along Browndown Road, Gomer Lane and Privett Road offers the best current solution – allowing people to get to and from the Memorial Hospital with greater ease, and meaning that these customers have the shortest possible walk from the bus stop near the hospital.’