Dear Sir,

I read with interest your front page piece on Brighton Hill roundabout. It’s a pity none of the local councillors whose wards border the roundabout were quoted. Brighton Hill roundabout directly affects around 20,000 people in Brighton Hill and South Ham. There are 12,000 people in Brighton Hill, and around 80-90% of all journeys out of Brighton Hill involve negotiating the roundabout.

 

Some of us have been asking for improvements to this roundabout for nearly 20 years. This work is long overdue, we are on the brink of gridlock.

New homes are being occupied further down the A30, and with the new retail park opening in the next 2 months, things are going to get worse before they get better. We have had just a taster of this with two sets of roadworks (gas mains one side, the retail park on the other) reducing Winchester Road to one lane each way.

But fear of disruption should not stop the works going ahead, the reason why the disruption will be so great is the works should have been done over 10 years ago. The later the works, the busier the roads, the greater the disruption. And any attempts to mitigate this, which are within the gift of Hampshire County Council, such as better bus services, they appear to be going in the opposite direction, with bus cuts forcing more cars onto the road, and driver shortages with their perennially re-appointed contractor (Stagecoach) making things even worse.

There are controversial aspects to these proposals, not least Western Way. There are a lot of road users and pedestrians going between Brighton Hill and South Ham for shops, schools, and more now with the doctors surgery mergers. There is no direct bus from Brighton Hill to South Ham.

We’ve had a degree of success in influencing the plans in the 2 briefing sessions leading up to the public consultation this week,. At one point it looked like the underpasses were going to be filled in: these have been saved, and the controversial “through-about” proposal has been dropped. But an acceptable solution still needs to be found for Western Way, the current proposal is for a new road through the west side of the Camrose ground, and this has not been greeted with a great deal of enthusiasm by South Ham residents. A Facebook post on my cllr page attracted over 40,000 views and 500 comments, many of these were negative about Western Way. We have to find an acceptable solution and things need to move quickly as the work is intended to start in 2020 and the roundabout is predicted to be unable to cope with traffic in 2019!

Yours Faithfully,
cllr Andrew McCormick
Brighton Hill South

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