STATUS REPORT ON THE A3023 PROJECT
FROM SAVE OUR ISLAND GROUP & HAYLING ISLAND RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION
Now that we are getting closer to the conclusion of the Havant Borough Council’s (HBC) Local Plan, it is an appropriate time to update the Island residents on the status of the A3023 review process.
The Save Our Island Group (SOI) and HIRA have been working together for the past 18 months on this project as members of the HBC Hayling Island Infrastructure Advisory Group. The group’s purpose is to provide on-the-ground advice regarding infrastructure capacity on Hayling Island and its links to the mainland. The group will review information and evidence base being produced to inform the Havant Borough Local Plan 2036 and provide feedback on the results and conclusions of those studies.
Hampshire County Council (HCC) and Havant Borough Council Roads’ Authorities are both modelling the road networks under the banner of the Solent Transport Sub-Regional Transport Model (SRTM.) The modelling service is provided by a consulting company – SYSTRA.
At this point we must record our dismay and complete frustration that neither Council has abided by the constitution of the Advisory Committee in respect of the road infrastructure and have not involved any resident support representatives in the parameter generation, growth forecasting, or the modelling process itself. This is despite our many imaginative and varied attempts to join the process and to achieve our objectives, including a small but important request for a resident group representative to attend the SRTM education workshop in February 2018 … which was refused.
In an effort to open a dialogue, given the total lack of information, we also presented a detailed assessment of our view of the A3023 status and likely future utilisation to the Infrastructure Advisory Board with HBC and HCC road authority representatives in attendance. Again no response or critique was forthcoming from either Council.
What follows is a summary of the major suggestions, issues and requirements we have recorded and presented, together with the limited information provided to date.
HCC have stated that the modelling base will be the 2015 traffic loadings. (We hope HBC will use the same.)
Starting at the base 2015, the housing growth projections from HBC are:
Proposed in the Plan
Windfall allocation estimated as 12 per annum
Total (out to 2036)
This does not mean that HBC will be able or wish to limit development to that number. The end result could well by one or two thousand higher as more development opportunities arise. Therefore the 999 number should be regarded as a minimum and it already represents an increase of 449 over the previous version of the Local Plan produced in 2016.
Without a management/control process in place, all future development projects will be registered and processed in the same way as they were in the past. The potential candidates include:
Therefore it is essential that the A3023 capacity and growth potential forms the key output of the modelling exercises as this is the only mechanism to limit and manage housing growth in the future.
We have obtained the base traffic data for 2015, 2016 and 2017 (from the permanent traffic counter at Langstone). This records every traffic movement on and off the Island.
The results show that the increase 2015 - 2016 was 1.2% and the 2016 - 2017 was 0.6%, and that there are peaks in the summer representing gridlocks and loading far in excess of the road design limits set out in the Government’s COBA road design manual (COst Benefit Analysis appraisal of road schemes - details available online).
The COBA manual also predicts an average 0.6% growth year-on-year out to 2031.
The considerations that we have documented and identified as requirements for the modelling exercises are:
As a holiday island, the summer months must be included in the traffic analysis.
The growth parameters must include
Impact of 11,500 new houses in the Borough
The Havant roundabout (the prime bottleneck)
The Langstone Technology Park development (the former IBM site)
The ‘cul de sac’ risks – no alternative route
Reasonable overall traffic forecast parameters to calculate the A3023 capacity and growth potential over time
Other risk impacts – floods, major accidents, etc.
The deliverables for the modelling exercise should include:
To date we have not received any documented responses to any of our detailed suggestions or information on what parameters are being used, nor any invitations to contribute to the process.
HCC have stated that the capacity of the A3023 cannot be clearly defined (although the COBA Design Manual indicates that an acceptable loading can be calculated.)There must be an acceptable range calculation possible to show when traffic saturation occurs and travel times become intolerable.
The only presentation containing any traffic data was from HCC on a new initiative looking at the A3023 from a series of Bluetooth counters.This is interesting as it does provide journey time between recording devices, but the initial presentation started north of the Pound roundabout at the Church Road/Manor Road junction and ended before the Havant roundabout.This is where the erroneous statement “it takes 10 minutes to leave the Island” came from.If we had been involved, this confusion would have been avoided.This analysis also demonstrated that the travel times vary enormously in both directions.
In any event, this travel time analysis does not add much value to the key requirement of understanding the capacity and headroom (growth potential) of the Island road network.
And we need to remember that the A3023 at near capacity is very sensitive to changes. For example, the reduction in the speed limit to 30 increased the travel time in both directions and makes it more difficult to join the traffic stream as the cars are running closer together.
We will continue through the Advisory Committee and any other avenue open to us to fight the case that the essential issues and concerns are recognised and addressed. Only in this way can we be assured that an infrastructure is implemented to support a sustainable and economic future for the community of Hayling.
Save Our Island Group