Only one per cent of residents speak out about Stubbington bypass

Residents at a consultation meeting for the Stubbington bypass in June
Residents at a consultation meeting for the Stubbington bypass in June
Gail Bird and Anna Koor monitor traffic speeds at High Street, Old Portsmouth

Volunteers on a mission to kill speed

Have your say

A CONSULTATION that saw 54,000 leaflets sent to houses in Fareham and Gosport has drawn just 490 responses, leading to claims that it was too complicated.

The second consultation on a Stubbington bypass was held throughout June and July and closed on August 4.

Information leaflets were sent out to homes advising people of nine manned exhibitions, five unstaffed exhibitions and of how to look at the plans online.

Figures from Hampshire County Council, which is behind the bypass, show that 950 people turned up at staffed exhibitions, which took place in Stubbington, Titchfield, Lee-on-the-Solent, Fareham and Peel Common.

The council received 490 responses in total, both online and paper versions.

Objector Mary Jo Frew, who is against any building on the strategic gap between Fareham and Stubbington, labelled this amount as ‘derisory’ and said it was proof that the council had not done enough to engage with residents.

Mrs Frew, of Ranvilles Lane, said: ‘I don’t see why the council should get away with it. They think they can push it through and that nobody will hold them to account, well I’m holding them to account on behalf of all the people who live near the land, and who have been ignored.’

She called on the council to hold a further consultation, with simpler response forms, and more staffed exhibitions.

Executive member for transport Sean Woodward said the council had sent so many leaflets so that everyone was aware of the options.

He said: ‘People very much engaged with the consultation, we will never get a 100 per cent response rate.’

Cllr Woodward agreed that the consultation was difficult to understand online due to the sheer size of the plans and said that it was easier to understand at the manned exhibitions.

He added: ‘There are people that claim the bypass will be the end of life as they know it, but then there are people in Gosport who travel that route everyday who will say “yes that’s great, I support it”.

‘It is tremendously difficult and that’s why I am so pleased about the number of responses and of the overwhelming support that seems to be behind it.’

Mrs Frew said she would fight any development on the strategic gap and that she has more than 420 names on a petition against the bypass.

The decision to put in a planning application for the bypass will be made in November, once the consultation responses have been analysed. Funding for the bypass will only be secure when the bypass is permitted.