Newport and Carisbrooke Parish Council (NCPC) is calling on the Isle of Wight Council to halt its plans for the busy St Mary’s roundabout.
The Isle of Wight Council insists the early stage of the work, which is due to get underway later this month, will cause only “little disruption”.
The parish council says it has had its requests for a public briefing turned down. An offer of a private briefing by Island Roads has been made instead but the parish council says that is not enough, “given the scale of the infrastructure, length of time to implement and the impact on the local community”.
NCPC Chair Councillor Julie Jones-Evans says the scheme, due to start on 30 September and run for 18 months, is “fundamentally different” from the one consulted upon a year ago and should have been resubmitted for public scrutiny.
Councillor Matthew Price (Parish Vice Chairman) wants the work stopped. He said,
“I have no option but to request that members of NCPC support me in asking the IW Council to immediately halt the proposed junction works. While this scheme of course has some merits and would provide extra capacity, it fails to provide relief to the constant congestion experienced throughout Newport. I represent residents on Staplers Road, Fairlee Road, lower Newport High Street and part of Coppins Bridge. Residents and commuters daily have to put up with unacceptable levels of congestion. It is my view that alternative traffic improvement schemes should be implemented first. An example being adding the proposed extra lane between the Matalan Roundabout and Coppins Bridge – a scheme that would offer an instant benefit and solve multiple problems while also providing some future capacity.
“It is also worth noting that St Mary’s being the largest planned scheme, would prevent any other scheme coming forward for at least the next two year. I am asking my colleagues to vote, asking the IW Council not to proceed any further on the St Marys scheme, until other improvements have been completed. This will send a clear message, voicing our overwhelming opposition to this scheme.”
An Isle of Wight Council spokesperson said:
“The St Mary’s junction improvement scheme is designed to reduce congestion now as well as ‘future-proofing’ this very busy junction. It is the largest of a package of schemes designed to improve traffic flows through Newport.
“Other schemes, such as the new arrangements at St George’s Way and Shide, have already been implemented, while others which will follow in the next three to five years — including the link between Coppins Bridge and the Matalan roundabout, which has also been given the go ahead — are still being planned.
“Collectively these schemes, once completed, will transform the flow of traffic in and around Newport and leave us better placed to unlock other regeneration schemes in this area. The St Mary’s junction scheme includes benefits for vehicular, pedestrian, cyclist and local bus traffic with new, widened shared-use cycle/pedestrian facilities.
“We have made significant changes to the scheme in response to suggestions made during the public consultation, and the project has undergone an independent, external review to be absolutely certain that it presents the best possible approach to the improvement of that key junction.”