Titchfield Neighbourhood Forum’s response to Fareham Borough Council’s Statement of Case
Titchfield Neighbourhood Forum (TNF) supports Fareham Borough Council’s Statement against the appeal of Foreman Homes.
We do consider however that the impact on highways has been under estimated. The road infrastructure throughout the village is already under severe pressure serving the local community and this is exacerbated by the additional burden of commuting traffic. All roads into, out of and through the village have restrictions to traffic flow and it is difficult to access the A27 whichever route is chosen and there are significant queues at peak times in a number of locations.
The current difficulties of an already overloaded road infrastructure in Titchfield village centre, Posbrook Lane, and Coach Hill, Common Lane, St. Margarets Lane and Bridge Street which take traffic from the south, would be significantly increased by the additional traffic generated by the large proposed development, which would generate between 730 to 1000 vehicle movements a day.
Posbrook Lane is a narrow country lane, but it already takes a high volume of traffic. It is about 4.4 metres wide in front of the site and on towards the shore, and it has a number of bends, some ‘blind’. It is a commuting ‘rat run’ used by vehicles from and to Gosport, Lee-on-the-Solent and Hill Head.
Although Posbrook Lane is subject to width restrictions for through traffic, it is used extensively by very large agriculture vehicles servicing the farmers and growers off and nearby to the Lane.
There are usually several large agricultural vehicle movements a day, such as large tractors with ploughs, drills etc. and sprayers, which are all wide vehicles. Periodically there is a relay of tractors and trailers or tankers for activities such as vegetable harvesting and muck spreading. Often it is necessary for traffic to stop after mounting the pavement or verge to allow very large tractors to pass, with the tractors often drawing trailers or other wide agriculture equipment. Many 18 tonne trucks deliver to and collect from the farms and growers throughout the year.
During the summer in particular, the Lane is very busy with traffic heading to the shore at the Meon outlet, Hill Head and Lee-on-the-Solent, some towing trailers with boats and others with caravans. It is also a busy cycle route.
Parking alongside Bellfield, the cemetery and the allotments cause congestion and there are delays in accessing Coach Hill and turning from Coach Hill into Posbrook Lane.
It should also be noted that at quieter times of the day speeding occurs despite a 30mph speed restriction. Over the years a number of vehicles have ‘lost control’ and ended up in the ditch in front of the proposed site, one of these accidents was quite recent.
The road beyond Posbrook Lane to the shore is narrow, there are lots of bends and there is a single track passing point. Like Posbrook Lane it takes large agriculture machinery and large vehicles servicing the farms and growers and, in the summer especially, takes the heavy traffic flow to the beaches.
As mentioned earlier the roads which would bear the brunt of traffic increases in addition to Posbrook Lane are listed below with some of their inherent difficulties.
Coach Hill. For a busy road it is narrow and in several places, when buses and lorries are passing, cars have to stop to allow this. There is an extremely tight mini-roundabout at the bottom with a road sign indicating that buses will be in the middle of the road, this causes frequent problems. Bollards have been sited at the roundabout to stop vehicles mounting the pavements, which are extremely narrow at this point. It is a busy commuting route
St. Margaret’s Lane. It is narrow, there are business premises which lead to large vehicles and some parking issues. It is a very busy commuting route, exacerbated by cars dropping off and picking up children attending West Hill school. Access to the traffic light controlled roundabout is difficult particularly at peak times as the lanes on the roundabout are full and queues develop in the Lane.
Common Lane. At certain times the road is restricted by vehicles of people who are making road side purchases. It is a busy commuting route and it is also affected by vehicles dropping off and picking up children attending West Hill school. Access to Warsash Road is difficult at peak times particularly for right turns and queues develop. There are also further queues of traffic at the end of Warsash Road waiting to gain access to the roundabout on the A27.
Bridge Street. There are bollards coming out from the mini-roundabout to stop vehicles mounting the pavements. Parking outside the houses results in single file traffic, with the difficulties increased by traffic coming off the mini-roundabout. It has a single track passing point. It is subject to flooding, which sometimes results in a road closure causing widespread difficulties. It is a busy commuting route with queues of traffic along most of its length at peak times waiting access to Stubbington Road via the traffic lights and counter queues at the single track passing point.
South Street. This is the access to the village centre from the south. In its short length it has significant single track passing points and parking which includes large delivery vehicles causing further restrictions. Bollards have been sited along both sides of the Street for most of its length to stop vehicles mounting the footpaths.
In summary we reiterate that the current road infrastructure is already under pressure and that the addition of the traffic generated by the proposed site should not be contemplated.
We also contend that the minor improvement of three road junctions, outlined by the Highways Authority (Hampshire County Council), would not solve the problem that would be created by the additional traffic. It appears that there has been a focus on the new traffic that would be generated and that not sufficient account has been taken of the existing situation with all the difficulties. However it would appear that the proposed road junction measures would help to ameliorate some the current traffic flow difficulties.