CONCERNS have been raised over plans to create a new country park on the outskirts of Portsmouth which could cause fresh traffic woes for drivers.
Residents in Port Solent have welcomed the news a new 128-acre green space will be created at the city’s former landfill site.
However, some fear that without the creation of a new access route through Port Solent to the future Horsea Island Country Park there will be traffic chaos.
Currently, the plans include extending the road through the popular shopping destination and creating a new car park at the Horsea Island Country Park.
John Crooks, chairman of the Residents’ Association of Port Solent, this would not be good enough to support the hundreds of extra visitors.
He said: ‘This will certainly be an asset to the people of Portsmouth, a lovely place to walk and admire the view of the harbour.
‘The only concern for the residents of Port Solent is the problem of access.
‘There is only one road into Port Solent. At times this is already jammed with traffic into the recycling centre, which has replaced the rubbish tip.
‘The plans envisage parking for only a small number of cars. How will visitors get there? Many will want to walk their dogs, which rules out arriving by bicycle.’
Councillor Ben Dowling, head of planning and regeneration at the council, welcomed the comments.
He explained there were plans afoot by the city council to try and reduce the impact of traffic at the site.
Cllr Dowling said: ‘We’re keen that this is a park for the local people as much as a park for people coming to visit the city from elsewhere.
‘Part of the longer term transport ambitions for the park is to create a pedestrian, bus and cycle bridge from Tipner. We think that would significantly reduce traffic.
‘But we completely understand residents’ concerns and want to work with them on this.’
The bridge is unlikely to be built by the time the park opens in 2020.
Cllr Dowling could not give an exact date on when the new link would be available, suggesting it could take years.
The Lib Dem added: ‘It’s still a plan; there is money to do it, we have identified where it should go - it’s all a question of how fast the development of Tipner West progresses.’
Work for the site is due to begin next month. This will focus on the additional new road and car park.
The park scheme will include the planting of 50,000 new trees to form the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Wood, as well as the creation of picnic areas, wild meadows and cycle tracks.
The cash to pay for the country park has come for the £50m City Deal, a regeneration plan for northern areas of Portsmouth.
Residents are being invited to have their say on the plans, which the city council vowed to take into account.
The consultation event is taking place at the former Chimichanga restaurant in the Boardwalk, Port Solent, from 9.30am until 7pm on Tuesday, August 28.