25 MAR 2017

Smannell Road Pathway Back on the Agenda

Yesterday morning, I met the Hampshire County Council Transport Team Leader, Paula Edwards and member of the Strategic Transport Team, James Moore to press the case on the Smannell pathway. I was joined at the meeting by TVBC Corporate Director Andy Ferrier and TVBC Engineering and Transport Manager, Steve Raw.

I put across the strength of feeling from the local community, demonstrated in mine and Kirsty Locke's recent petition, which attracted 312 signatories. They had also seen the five pages plus of supportive comments from local residents who want a safer route for pedestrians walking between Augusta Park and Smannell to use the pub, school and church.

It was a very positive meeting. As a result, the County Council have agreed to park their alternative, cheaper suggestion to spend the developer contributions on a 'gateway feature' for Smannell village – and instead look at ways to deliver the pathway.

The County have concerns about the safety of the previously proposed scheme as although it provided a pathway along all the dangerous stretches of road, it included some road walking on the straight section. Therefore, Hampshire County Council have agreed to commission Test Valley to do a feasibility study and work up plans to deliver a pathway along the whole stretch of the road.

Extending the length of the pathway will inevitably mean it will cost more but due to the significant public support for the scheme I am reasonably confident we can leverage money from other sources.

The delay to delivering the pathway is extremely frustrating, and we still have several hurdles to get over but I'm delighted the County Council are once again convinced it is the right thing to do.

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Address: Cllr Phil North, C/O TVBC, Beech Hurst, Weyhill Road, Andover, Hampshire, SP10 3AJ.

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Email: phil.north@testvalley.org.uk

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