News that the government has pledged to improve the motorway junction at Hedge End has drawn a mixed reaction from Eastleigh’s politicians.
While Eastleigh’s MP took to Twitter to hail the news, the Council Leader described the £2.5 million earmarked for a traffic light upgrade as a “token sum.”
In a statement Mims Davies, Conservative MP for Eastleigh, said:
“I warmly welcome this extra investment to improve the M27. Many of my constituents commute on this road on a daily basis and this will address an often daily struggle with delays we all find frustrating.
The extra Highways England funding demonstrates this Conservative Government’s commitment to build a country that works for everyone. I’m delighted that after several meetings with Highways England and Hampshire County Council we’ve got a positive start on better infrastructure for my constituency.”
The scheme will see £2.5 million spent on upgrading the existing traffic lights in order to improve traffic flow round the busy intersection and relieve queuing on the M27 slip roads.
The project is a collaborative scheme between Highways England (HE) and Hampshire County Council and is planned for between April to October 2018.
Keith House the Lib Dem Leader of Eastleigh Borough Council – who also sits on Hedge End Town Council- told Eastleigh News that he believes the announcement is a re-packaging of previously agreed measures.
“A complete package of works for the M27 between junctions 5 and 8 was agreed for 2018-20 by the Lib Dem-Conservative Coalition Government. Much of this work has already been put back a year by the Conservatives. I hope this token sum for Junction 7 does not mean the much bigger set of improvements including quieter road surfacing has been put at risk.
“Mims Davies’ promise of the Chickenhall Hall Lane Link Road and Botley Bypass being funded within 100 days of the last election remains broken.
“We will have to look at this supposedly ‘new’ announcement carefully to see what investment is really to be delivered.”