Redbridge Causeway, a deteriorating set of concrete bridges over the River Test that carries 60,000 vehicles a day, has been identified as one of ten high-priority road improvement schemes selected for submission to Government as part of a £3.5bn, five-year investment programme to cut congestion, speed up journeys and support economic growth across the South East.
Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment at Hampshire County Council, said: “Redbridge Causeway is a key link between the Port of Southampton and the western side of Southampton Water. It is an essential route not only for the local economy but also for import and export business affecting the whole of the country. It is time this importance to the UK economy is recognised and national funding made available for the repairs it urgently needs.”
The ten schemes were agreed by Transport for the South East (TfSE), a new regional body which brings together local authorities, business groups and the transport industry to speak with one voice on the region’s transport needs. It follows a request from Government for regions to agree their priorities for improving the Major Road Network (MRN), which comprises the country’s busiest and most economically important local authority roads.
Consisting of four concrete bridges, Redbridge Causeway is a key access to the Port and City of Southampton from the West, carrying freight and commuters over both the River Test and the Southampton to Romsey railway line. It is the only direct route for pedestrians and cyclists to cross the River Test.
Councillor Humby continued: “All four structures which make up the Causeway need repair, at an estimated cost of £25 million. We have already used £8.4 million from our local roads budget to underwrite the first part of the repair bill for work to keep the busy A35 route into Southampton open without the need for weight restrictions - a significant part of our total budget available for the maintenance of all of Hampshire’s 5,500 miles of roads. With the Government spending 43 times more per mile on motorways which make up just 3% of the country’s roads than they make available for councils to improve local roads, this is an opportunity for this funding disparity to be addressed.”
Transport for the South East assessed schemes against a range of national criteria as well as specific objectives which focus on sustainable economic growth, improved quality of life and the environment.
Cllr Keith Glazier, chair of Transport for the South East, said: “A high-quality, reliable transport network is absolutely critical to our region’s continued success, so it’s vital we make a strong case for ongoing investment on behalf of people and businesses in the South East.”
Further information on Transport for the South East