Though as Chief Correspondent Rob Thomas reports it is not open to traffic until next week …
SNAKING its way across farmland to the north and east of the village, the Stubbington bypass – Daedalus Way as it has been named – is now a reality with the road being formally opened yesterday.
Ten years in the making including more than two years of construction, it has cost £42 million but Hampshire County Council predicts that 20,000 vehicles each day – rising to 24,000 in 2036 – will use the bypass which links Gosport Road just west of the Peel Common roundabout with the Titchfield gyratory on the A27.
The new Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Rob Humby, said: “We made a commitment to the people of Fareham, Gosport and Stubbington to improve traffic and travel locally and across South Hampshire.
“This bypass represents a key part of our strategy to improve access into Gosport and Fareham, reduce congestion and increase journey time reliability for road users. Improving the transport network in this way will encourage new investment into the area, facilitating regeneration and providing new jobs for local people.”
In 2016, the then Leader of Gosport Borough Council Councillor Mark Hook, stated his view that the bypass would also reduce traffic on the A32.
He said: “At present, 25 percent of traffic on the A32 goes west when it gets to the M27, so the bypass will move some of that traffic onto junction 9 of the M27 and ease congestion on the A32”.
This claim does not seem to have been repeated at the formal opening other than in the more general statement of ‘improving journey times and access to the Gosport peninsular’.
Improved access to Solent Enterprise Zone and benefits for Stubbington
The Solent Local Enterprise Partnership with the Department of Transport has contributed £34 million to the project and improving access to the Solent Enterprise Zone – the southern end of the bypass is just to the north of Solent Airport Daedalus – has been an important factor driving the project.
Solent LEP Chief Executive Anne-Marie Mountifield said: “The improved journey times it will deliver will boost the local economy by encouraging regeneration, particularly at the Solent Enterprise Zone, at the same time as improving the lives of local people by diverting traffic from Stubbington centre and providing better facilities for people to walk and cycle.”
The expected benefit to Stubbington village will be a reduction in air pollution and noise due to a fall of between 30 and 50 per cent in traffic.
And, as reported in The Globe, the county council has plans for reconfiguring two roundabouts near the village.
Not quite open yet except to fun runners
The 5.5 km – more than three miles – bypass will not be open to traffic until sometime in the week commencing May 30 and temporary traffic lights will continue to operate at the junction of Titchfield Road with Bridge Street.
There will also be other temporary traffic control measures at Titchfield Road and Gosport Road, where these roads feed into the new Daedalus Way.
The speed limit on the bypass will be 50 mph, reducing to 40 mph where it joins the existing 40mph speed limits on Titchfield Road and Gosport Road.
Alongside the road is a pedestrian pavement/cycleway and the scheme includes the planting of 530 specimen trees, 365 conifers, 8,000 grouped trees, and 19,000 ‘whips’ – hedge plants – as new and replacement hedging, and 600 native water plants.
Daedalus Way may not be immediately open to traffic but it means a very safe 5k fun run can take place along the road on Sunday, May 29, to raise funds for Naomi House and Jacksplace.
Photograph (top): Baroness Vere, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport and Councillor Rob Humby, Leader of Hampshire County Council, cut the ribbon to formally open the Stubbington bypass.