Gosport Marine Scene, which represents more than 160 businesses in the area, is severely criticising the transport plans for the Solent area.


Gosport Marine Scene (GMS) is calling for better transport links from Fareham and Portsmouth to the eastern side of Gosport.

It comes as the Local Enterprise Partnership and Hampshire County Council publish transport plans for the Solent area.

While the business network group is backing the proposal for the £35 million Stubbington bypass, it is concerned that it stops a few mies short of the eastern sector of Gosport.

It is here that most of the marine businesses are located.

The director of Marina Projects, which is based in Gosport, Mark Bowden said decent transport connections are essential.

“Without them, congestion on the existing inadequate routes will simply get worse. Gosport has some great assets for the marine industries and we must make them accessible,” he stressed.

Gosport Marine Scene believes more needs to be done to solve the congestion on the A32, the main route into Gosport, as well as the inadequate rail and bus connections to the area.

“Although the long-awaited Stubbington Bypass will be an asset to the area, it will mainly benefit new business in the Enterprise Zone and Daedalus,” it explained in a media release.

“But GMS points out that it too will stop several miles short of the eastern sector of Gosport, where most of the marine businesses are located. Haslar Hospital, the Gosport Waterfront and the MOD’s last derelict site at Royal Clarence Yard are ready for development now.”

One of the aims of Gosport Marine Scene is to make the area an attractive destination for competitive and leisure yachtsmen, and for marine tourism.

Gosport is already home to Alex Thomson Racing and the Clipper Round the World.

The managing director of Gosport-based Marine Advertising Agency, Mike Shepherd, said: “We need to make it easy for them to get here. The plans say nothing about transport to-and-through Gosport.”

He continued: “One the simplest steps would be to rebrand Portsmouth Harbour station as Portsmouth and Gosport, to emphasise that it is our local station and is reliably served by the Gosport Ferry.”

YBW asked Hampshire County Council to respond to Gosport Marine Scene’s concerns.

The council sent a copy of its press release issued on 19 July.

In it, it says the council will be stepping in “to fill a funding gap of £8.5 million to ensure plans to build a bypass at Stubbington can go ahead”.

The council explains that for the bypass scheme to be considered for central government funding, local match funding of between 25-30% needs to be found.

“Hampshire County Council has put together a proposal to borrow this sum against the promise from the Solent LEP to make over future business rates generated from the Solent Enterprise Zone. This makes it possible for the Solent LEP to submit the bid in their proposed programme,” said the press release.

The leader of the council, Roy Perry, said: “Making this scheme a reality demonstrates the County Council’s willingness to act, using its expertise and capacity to deliver a scheme which will benefit local people and businesses in the Gosport and Fareham areas. This illustrates the scale of investment Hampshire County Council is making into improving the transport infrastructure in South Hampshire.”

He added that the council had delivered “a long list of large scale transport projects” in the south of Hampshire, including the £28 million bus rapid transit route and a range of road schemes to improve access to Fareham and Gosport.

The include the £3.25million at Peel Common roundabout, £4.6 million at A27 St Margaret’s roundabout and the £6.9 million at Newgate Lane North.