At Monday’s meeting of Newport and Carisbrooke Parish Council (NCPC), councillors voted overwhelmingly, that the impending St Mary’s Junction improvements be halted by the Isle of Wight Council.
Request for public briefing refused
Members were informed by the Parish Chair, Cllr Julie Jones-Evans, that the Parish Council have twice requested a briefing on the St Mary’s Junction improvements to be held at a formal meeting of NCPC, in public, to fully inform Councillors, local representatives, businesses and local residents of the scheme.
Private briefing offered
This request has each time been turned down and instead an offer of a private briefing by and at agreed contractors Island Roads has been made. Given the scale of the infrastructure, length of time to implement and the impact on the local community, the parish council felt this was an inadequate response.
Price: Alternative schemes should be implemented first
Councillor Matthew Price (Parish Vice Chairman) proposed the halt saying:
“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 at St Mary’s. 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 years.”
Price: Need to send a clear message
He went on to say,
“I am asking my colleagues to vote, asking the IW Council not to proceed any further on the St Mary’s scheme, until other improvements have been completed. This will send a clear message, voicing our overwhelming opposition to this scheme.”
Revised scheme needs consultation
Chairman of NCPC, Councillor Julie Jones-Evans pointed out during the debate that the new St Mary’s junction layout is fundamentally different from the one consulted upon a year ago and should have been resubmitted for public scrutiny.
“It’s the wrong scheme, at the wrong time and is going to cause massive disruption in addressing a problem that ranks well below those seen around Coppins Bridge and St George’s Way.
“Businesses on the industrial estate and town will suffer for many months, not to mention local residents. I fully support Councillor Price’s proposal.”
News shared by Joshua on behalf of Newport and Carisbrooke Parish Council. Ed