IDEAS to tackle traffic and parking problems in Fordingbridge have been mooted.

Speaking at a meeting of Fordingbridge Town Council’s planning meeting last week, Cllr Mike Jackson told councillors about a report on traffic and parking put forward to the council outlining suggestions.

He said: “We’ve got three options – we can do nothing, we can tinker around with it with a few yellow lines etc or we can become radical.”

Cllr Jackson added: “At least we can say to residents who come here complaining about it that we are trying to do something.”

Residents have raised concerns during meetings and called for action to address the issues.

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Call for action over Fordingbridge traffic and highways issues

These are the ideas

There was a proposal to give pedestrians “equal status” to motorists. Other suggestions include a 20mph speed limit, a type of contraflow system in Salisbury Street and High Street with a bus and loading bay controlled by lights or making Salisbury Street one-way going northbound.

Another idea was directing visitors to park in the A338 slip road car parking first rather than the town centre car park as well as footpaths to encourage walking and a town trail to encourage visitors to “engage with the town” along with better signage of routes.

'We’ve actually got to put some things forward'

Cllr Jackson said the town council cannot keep saying to people we are looking at it and added “we’ve actually got to put some things forward” which could be clarified to see if they were possible and then get the reaction of residents.

However, Cllr Lewendon questioned whether rules regarding one-way systems had been looked at.

Cllr Jackson said there needed to be discussions with Hampshire County Council highways.

While Cllr Diane Paton added: “Whatever we do, however we move forward it has all got to be done in consultation with the people who live here, and whatever we discuss to think about in the plan doesn’t mean that all those things are going to be implemented.

"It is trying to find out which things we can implement and which things residents would like us to progress.”

But Cllr Edward Hale felt suggestions that had no chance of going forward should not be put in a consultation document and changes to traffic flow needed further investigation to see if it was achievable and the practicalities of the suggestions.

Plan for town

The town council is working with New Forest District Council to produce a plan for the town. A neighbourhood plan is also being developed by the town council.

Cllr Diane Paton said: “We need somebody that can say that is just not possible, don’t take it any further, or ‘yes that’s a good idea’ let’s investigate that further. We can’t promise what we can’t do. But we do need to look at it.”

A survey is due to go out to residents on matters including pedestrianising Roundhill and 20mph speed limits.


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