Ahead of a meeting of Eastleigh Borough Council this evening, I have sent the below text to the Chief Executive of Eastleigh Borough Council, Nick Tustian, regarding the Chickenhall Link Road.
I am delighted to see the Chickenhall Link Road has made the council agenda today which is important given the current consultation on the new Southampton Airport Masterplan. I have had discussions within the last month with the Treasury, the LEP and on return to Westminster I have a planned catch-up with the Department for Transport (DfT). One of the areas still with no clarity is this council’s ability to help move forward the budget book commitment I have achieved and it’s right that there is more on the table from the Borough Council than a brief mention in the Local Plan draft document.
The next stage for me is meeting with Hampshire County Council. I note you mention on the agenda that perhaps the cost of the road has increased. I have recently met with a local civil engineering firm who believe modern materials, and some recent best practice, could maybe assist with a more cost effective solution to tackle the Borough’s air quality issues and to support the Airport Masterplan alongside the businesses.
I will look forward to the feedback from the Council meeting tonight and have found the information on the Council agenda very useful for my next DfT meeting. I encourage you to continue to keep me updated. I feel very positive about the progress this road is making in terms of priority with the Government for delivery however in order to unlock this further investment the more hands to the pump working together all the better. Bids by their very nature are a competitive process and we must make ours the strongest possible. I recently submitted my views to the National Infrastructure Commission and I use every opportunity to make sure that this road is seen as vital to move forward for Eastleigh after all these years and that we will rise to meet the requirements needed for the next stage of any bid for us to be ready to have the best possible application and outcome.
I am copying Councillor Irish who also asked for an update of my work and I know it was discussed at his committee recently too.
There is a very strong commitment from me to help to get all applications available for us to apply to in the strongest position. You will know from the two summits I have held with all interested parties this is a shared goal but there is an understanding that nothing further can be achieved without the full updated bid information at our fingertips. However, as you will have seen, the Borough is benefiting from joint work and my commitment to deliver, which is seeing the progress of consultation and changes on Hamble Lane, next year’s work commencing on the Botley By-Pass and further improvements and digitalisation of the lights on the M27 key junctions 7 & 8 as well as the forthcoming Smart Motorway project. I believe from the DfT, the Local Major’s Fund again is being looked at in terms of this key link road and I look forward to my next conversations with DfT. I, as ever, will keep you updated.
I have also forwarded this to Councillor Grajewski who keeps a keen interest on working with me on this project for our Borough and she will have further information to discuss tonight.
For your records I have posted you a copy of this correspondence.
Mims Davies MP
Member of Parliament for Eastleigh
The Agenda for this evening's meeting can be found here: https://meetings.eastleigh.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=254&MId=6107