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Misleading Transport Survey

Both Langstone and Hayling representatives on Hayling's Infrastructure Advisory Board have expressed serious concerns about both the quality and accuracy of Havant Borough Council's current Transport Survey. Both HIRA members and non-members alike have submitted to the Board's Chairman Cllr. Wilson and the responsible Council Officers, their detailed, well-founded reasons as to why this Survey should be immediately taken out of circulation; but Andrew Biltcliffe, Head of HBC Planning has replied that he plans to leave it 'as is'. His views include that its 'did you know' "facts are true, ... they can be analysed in various ways". However, as has been pointed out to him repeatedly by residents, the Survey's hard copy claim that it takes only 10 minutes to travel off the Island, is blatantly mis-leading because it makes no effort to stipulate the exact conditions, locations and circumstances from which this timing was taken. This statement seriously undermines the Survey's credibility, which in turn undermines whatever process to which the Survey is supposed to be contributing.

Even more worryingly, a HIRA Committee member who has worked on an Ethics Committee, pointed out to the entire Board the following:

"that the [Survey's] statement may constitute a conflict of interest where the organisation conducting the survey is seeking a particular response by misleading and incomplete statistical data, which has not been validated. The result of this may lead to future lack of trust and co-operation by responders in the organisation. This appears to be clearly against the guidance issued to Councils, when conducting surveys, by the Economic and Social Research Centre."

If readers wish to make known their own views on the 'Traffic and transport access on Hayling Island' survey they should write or email to both their own Councillors and Havant Borough Council Planning Department. We have been told that the Infrastructure Advisory Board will have the opportunity to discuss the Survey at their next meeting in January.

In view of so many residents' well founded criticisms of this Survey and Hayling Infrastructure Board's Advisory status, it is extremely disquieting that the Board was not consulted on the Survey's format and intended purpose before its publication.

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