Villagers split over plans to end rat run

Picture: Hampshire Constabulary

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PLANS for traffic restrictions on a busy route have divided opinion.

Dozens of people went to Catisfield Memorial Hall last night to view proposals to drastically change the flow of traffic through the village, which is used as a rat run.

Hampshire County Council is proposing to ban the left turn from Mill Lane into Fishers Hill and close the left filter lane from Catisfield Lane on to Highlands Road.

Traffic will still be able to turn left out of Catisfield Lane via the existing T-junction.

But Barry Bartlett, 33, who runs Abbey Farm Feeds off Fishers Hill, said 70 per cent of his custom comes from that left-hand turn, he said.

‘It’s ridiculous,’ he said.

‘Potentially it will close our business extremely quickly.’

Tanya Waterhouse, 67, from Southampton, tends to her horse every day at the farm and believes the measures will increase traffic rather than reducing it.

‘One suggestion was to having access only – that would be sensible,’ she added.

Judy Ekins, chair of Catisfield Village Association, said chicanes would be a better way of tackling the speeding and rat running.

Diane Johnson, of Catisfield, said: ‘I am against the closure and of prohibiting access to a right of way.’

Sarah Smith, 44, of Catisfield, said: ‘I think it’s appeases the minority at the expense of the majority.’

Sarah Brown, 43, of Catisfield, supported the measures and said many residents struggled to get out of their driveways.

She said: ‘There’s got to be a solution and this is the best solution they have come up with.’

Councillor Geoff Hockley, who has helped devise the proposals, said the exhibition was a way of gauging public opinion and no final decisions have been made.