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.
Members were informed by the Parish Chair, Cllr Julie Jones-Evans, that the Council have twice requested a briefing on the St Mary’s Junction improvements to be held at a formal meeting of NCPC. The NCPC wanted a meeting to be held in public to fully inform Councillors, local representatives, businesses and local residents of the scheme. These requests have been turned down and instead an offer of a private briefing by contractors Island Roads, has been made. Given the scale of the infrastructure, length of time the work is likely to take and the impact on the local community, the Parish Council felt this was an inadequate response.
Cllr. Matthew Price proposed the halt to the works 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.”
The Chairman of NCPC, Cllr. 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.”