Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Bypass bid chosen could 'end gridlock' in South Hampshire

traffic on A32
Image caption The Local Enterprise Partnership said the bypass would reduce delays on the A32 between Fareham and Gosport and end rush hour gridlock in Stubbington

A road to ease "crippling congestion" in part of Hampshire has been chosen by a regional development agency as a top priority for government funding.

The £34m Stubbington bypass heads a wish list drawn up by the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Also prioritized are a centre for warship maintenance in Portsmouth and a major housing development in Southampton.

LEPs are bidding for a share of £1.8bn under the Local Growth Fund.

Applications to the latest round of the government's job creation scheme must be made by 28 July.

Image copyright Hampshire county council

Gosport Conservative MP Caroline Dinenage said the Stubbington bypass was "utterly essential for addressing the area's crippling congestion problems".

The road would cross nearly three miles of farmland, opening a route to the new Solent Enterprise Zone, a business park on the former Daedalus airfield near Fareham.

Sean Woodward, leader of Fareham Borough Council, said it would end rush hour gridlock in Stubbington village and reduce delays on the A32 between Fareham and Gosport.

Councillor Woodward, who also sits on the Solent LEP board, said the bypass was "a transformational scheme for South Hampshire".

Image copyright Other
Image caption The LEP is bidding for £8m to complete a housing development at Centenary Quay in Southampton

The LEP is also bidding for £8m to continue a housing development in Southampton, including a 27-storey tower block.

In April, the agency said the next phase of the Centenary Quay project in Woolston had "viability concerns" and the developer, Crest Nicholson, could decide to "halt further investment".

The LEP also wants £1m to help upgrade facilities for warship maintenance at BAE systems at Portsmouth Naval Base, which cut more than 1,000 jobs when shipbuilding ended in 2014 .

Councillor Woodward said he "fully expected" the three LEP priorities to be awarded government funding in the Chancellor's Autumn Statement.

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