I doubt it.
One of our members (an ex-transport consultant) has been trying to put some ideas on how to mitigate the problem at the Speedfields Park junction to Rob Humby (HCC in charge of transport) to do SOMETHING about Newgate Lane. His latest correspondence with him can be found here. It is a three page, extremely well-argued letter.
His final paragraph, and can anybody argue with this statement?
"The rather negative press treatment of the problem has been compounded by previous statements emanating from HCC/Hampshire Highways stating that there would be an “urgent review” of the traffic problem, with the public perception that not much if anything has been done since. Very true and I agree with the public here.
Video of the problem at Newgate Lane
I drove up and down Newgate Lane this afternoon. I think that the video shows EXACTLY what the problem is, and the new southern section isn't going to have any effect. It is 8 minutes long but without watching the whole thing you can't see all of the points.
Both of the exits from Speedfields were clogged solid. If you watch the video you will see that once the 2 into 1 section south of the Collingwood lights has been cleared the traffic runs quite happily, slows down slightly now and then but basically just a busy, clear running road. The return run shows the same thing happening. All of the problems are being caused by the Collingwood lights and the bottleneck where the two lanes are forced into one so because the new section is going to be single carriageway there will be no easing of the problem and whatever the powers that be say, Asda's new exit will make absolutley NO difference. Possibly some of the cars will divert to the new Stubbington by-pass when it is completed, but Longmead Avenue was perfectly clear so nothing was coming from the west (Titchfield) direction. Looks like it's going to be another complete waste of money to me.
Local copy of the announcement
Hampshire County Council has appointed Mildren Construction Ltd. as the main contractor and work will commence in early July 2017 until Summer 2018.
This is the same contractor that has been responsible for the 'improvements' on the A27. Let's hope that it proceeds somewhat more smoothly and swiftly than that contract. Finishing date is Summer 2018 - let's make a note of that and see whether that can be met.
Local residents and businesses are being invited to meet representatives from Hampshire County Council and Mildren Construction Ltd. to view details about the scheme and its construction on:
Wednesday 5 July 2017 between 15:00 and 19:00
At: HMS Collingwood - Royal Sovereign Pavilion (located on Newgate Lane opposite the main gate, access via the entrance to the playing fields and car park).
The display material will also be available to view online at this webpage
Quote from The Daily Echo article:
"Councillor Sean Woodward, the leader of Fareham Borough Council, said: “It is welcoming to hear that Lidl want to create new jobs in the area; traffic will not be a problem as the extra turn out of Asda will alleviate this.”
But local residents fear that the new development will make traffic problems worse on Newgate Lane, a crucial link between Fareham and Gosport used by more than 25,000 vehicles a day.
Stuart McGarrick of Leesland Road said: “This area has a major traffic problem at present and it will only get worse with additional retail premises or larger premises.”"
Cllr.Woodward just will not seem to accept that it's not the exit from Asda that is the problem, it's trying to join Newgate Lane that is the problem, and when all of the new jobs are created at Daedalus, it will only get worse.
Link to The Daily Echo article
Why would anybody want to expand a retail business at Speedfields Park whilst Newgate Lane is causing so much grief? It is not as if the new southern section 'improvements' are going to improve the situation that much, if at all.
Will this planning application help the mess? Asda have funded their investigation into exiting from their site (see below) and now Lidl want to compund the problem by attracting more people and their cars to the problem. Don't we EVER learn that PROPER infrastructure is necessary before expansion?
Link to the planning application
A formal planning application has been submitted for an additional exit from the ASDA car park.
Click image to enlarge
But why did Asda have to instigate and presumably pay for this report? HCC (under Cllr. Woodward's leadership as head of transport) got it wrong in the first place. Let us be totally honest, they can mess about with Newgate Lane as much as they like, the new southern section being only a single carriageway won't help the situation. This traffic queue starts at Peel Common and effectively goes all the way up to the Tesco roundabout. It's a sticking plaster on a wound that really needs a tourniquet or even better, a transplant.
They seem to think that the Stubbington By-pass will help relieve the problem, they may be right until Newlands gets developed then we'll all be back to square one. Don't tell me, a certain councillor insists that he doesn't want Newlands, but with FBC's current build record it can't be long.
Link to the planning application
People could not even get back to their own cars due to the sheer number of cars in the road trying to get out.
It's amazing how vanity projects can backfire. All so that access to Daedalus could be improved. I wonder whether the southern 'improvements' will ease the situation?
Link to The News article
"It is hoped that the road will effectively remove traffic heading to Gosport from the existing Newgate Lane, which usually carries up to 25,000 vehicles a day."
But the replacement road will be a single carriageway similar to the existing one if slightly wider and as the plan is to close the southern end of the existing road then there is no "hope" it is a dead certainty.
Will it improve traffic flow?
Possibly because it might be feasible to pass stationary buses but basically, it's a similar road carrying the same traffic load so similar problems will remain and the preferred solution for buses is for on carriageway stops.
I have not heard much about it lately but have they resolved the Speedfields Park exit problem yet? If not then a new bunch of roadworks for another year is going to have Asda, Wickes, Screwfix and all of the other businesses in there really jump for joy.
Link to The News article
Asda’s customer trading manager Chris Lockyer said:
"Congestion has been poor over Easter with people stuck in the car park.
Link to The News article
We had a mother with a baby stuck for 40 minutes on Monday, so we had to get baby milk from the store to support"
This video was taken on the 29th March. As can be seen from the begining of the clip, Peel Common roundabout was running freely, even though the roadworks were on. There is actually no problem in the clip, vehicles are running fairly easily, if somewhat slowly, but it just shows the traffic density that uses this road, bear in mind that this is at 14:30 on a Tuesday afternoon, whilst the schools are on holiday. The repacement road will effectivly be no bigger than the existing one so will it improve the situation much? Don't forget the additional 200 houses that are going to be built on Daedalus, the additional 3000 jobs that SW has told us will be created on the Daedalus site and the 1100 houses that Hallam Land may still manage to force through.
Asda, Screwfix, Aldi and Topps Tiles are complaining that the time taken to exit Speedfields Park is unacceptable. This has been the case since the project opened. Our Executive Member for Transport has told The News that
"... that the scheme had improved traffic flow from Gosport to Fareham, but said the council would conduct a review in light of the problems.
He said: ‘The aim of the Newgate Lane scheme is to help traffic flow and ease congestion north to south which requires a balance to be struck between through traffic movement and access to side roads."
The next phase of 'improvements' will see the southern section of Newgate Lane replaced by another single lane carriageway so the actual load capacity of the 'improved' road will be very little differentto that which is already in place. Slightly wider, slightly safer for cyclists but no bus lay-bys so just as many tail-backs behind buses stopped whilst taking fares. What it does do though, is open up yet another tranche of land for development. Nobody has, as yet tried to claim this, but why bother until the tax-payer has paid for the access road.
The proposed diversion route when the road has been modified - the solid blue line is the new road, the blue hatched areas are where the road will be closed and the red route show the minor diversion that will have to be used by the current residents of the existing road.
Newgate Lane South was agreed to by HCC on 20-11-2015 - no appeals were lodged so it looks as if it will go ahead (subject to funding I guess).
Interesting extract from Letter from Applicant (2 November 2015)
a) Provide additional information on the potential for the provision of lay-by bus stops on the new route rather than ‘in carriageway’ stops. On carriageway bus stops were identified as the preferred solution following consultation with interested parties and analysis of the relative merits of providing lay-by bus stops or on carriageway stops. Four key considerations resulted in the preferred approach, which are outlined below:
1 - Frequency of services. The low frequency of buses along this route was a significant factor in the decision to provide on carriageway stops. First Hampshire & Dorset service 21/21A is the only public scheduled service that routes along this southern section of Newgate Lane (as per Page 37 of the Transport Assessment) and provides an average of one bus per hour in each direction, between the hours of 07:21-18:39 Monday to Friday (11 per day) and 09:28-13:28 on Saturday. This service is currently subsidised by the County Council.....
So with all of the development in Daedalus it seems to have already been accepted that public transport is going to be very low key, so much for all this making the roads better for public transport to help alleviate the traffic problem.
Original note about planning application moved to archives