Improvements to Fishbourne Lane will take place this autumn

One of the key gateway roads to the Isle of Wight is to be upgraded by Island Roads later this year.

The work to Fishbourne Lane, the road serving Wightlink’s Fishbourne terminal, will involve reconstruction and resurfacing of the road from its junction with Elenors Grove to the Wightlink terminal.

Not only will the road upgrade help create a good impression to visitors arriving on the Island, it will also reduce noise from the traffic, including HGVs, that travel along this residential road.

By reconstructing as well as resurfacing the road, it is hoped that the underlying issues that have resulted in the deterioration of the road surface over time can be addressed.

Island Roads is continuing discussions with local businesses and residents to give advance notice of the intended work schedule. Where road closures are required, the work will be undertaken overnight to reduce disruption using shorter than usual shifts (between 9pm and 3.30am, Monday to Thursday and 10pm and 3.30am on Fridays) to minimise the impact on businesses, residents and the travelling public. There will be no work undertaken on Saturday and Sunday nights and the road will be re-opened outside of work hours.

Wightlink will introduce a temporary weekday night-time timetable for five weeks in the autumn while the work will be at its height. Other traffic management will be in place throughout the duration of the project between July 15 and November 1. Further details of these arrangements will be announced nearer the time.

Residents are being informed of the work and how they will be affected by letter and Island Roads are also planning two drop-in sessions in Fishbourne to meet residents face to face to discuss any queries they might have.

Stephen Ashman Island Roads service director said: “This is a complex scheme as we have to balance many factors including the need to reduce the impact on what is one of the Island’s most significant car ferry ports.

“We have worked closely with Wightlink to come up with a scheme that we hope strikes the balance between the need to upgrade this road and also the needs of all those who use it.

“We realise that despite taking steps to minimise disruption, this scheme will cause some inconvenience so we would like to thank all businesses, residents in the vicinity, and other key local stakeholders for their support.

“ Today (Monday) we have met elected members to discuss this scheme. We will take on board suggestions made at this meeting as we progress the plans and we will continue to keep everyone updated as these plans progress.

“We hope any short-term disruption will be more than offset by having a greatly improved – and quieter – road serving one of the key strategic gateways to the Island.”

Keith Greenfield, Wightlink Chief Executive said: “We were pleased to work closely with Island Roads to ensure this important road improvement project could be delivered in a way that would have minimal impact on Wightlink customers.”

Councillor Ian Ward, Cabinet member for Infrastructure and Transport said: “Fishbourne Lane is a vital communication link between our road network and the ferry. There has been much discussion about the timing of this very necessary rebuild of the Lane with the aim of causing the very least inconvenience to residents, minimum disruption to ferry services but still allowing Island Roads to complete the rebuild as efficiently as possible. It is pleasing to see all parties working together to achieve those aims.”