LABOUR councillors from across Brighton Hill and South Ham are "very concerned" about the latest proposals for improvements to Brighton Hill roundabout.

Cllrs Andy McCormick, Gary Watts, Kim Taylor and Colin Regan have expressed their apprehension over modifications made by Hampshire County Council to the scheme, labelling it an "apparent attempt by Hampshire County Council to sneak these changes through with very little opportunity for residents to give feedback during the lockdown period".

As previously reported in the Gazette, the latest updates to the £20 million scheme will see the existing subways filled in, and instead replaced with at-grade, traffic light-controlled pedestrian crossings.

On top of this, the Camrose link road has been included, despite objections from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and Sport England.

Now, councillors have spoken out about the upgrades, which were due to begin this year.

Cllr McCormick said: "The proposed changes to the £20m scheme to upgrade Brighton Hill roundabout are substantial.

"I and my colleagues at Borough level have been receiving a lot of negative feedback from residents on the issue. The silence from the local county councillors is deafening, they must have had wind of these changes before they were announced.

"90 per cent of all journeys out of Brighton Hill are made via the roundabout. All the residents of Brighton Hill are affected.

"The number of at-grade crossings is horrendous, to get across the roundabout means negotiating 2 or 3 of them, which takes a lot of time and will mean people will take chances and risk their own safety to cross a very busy road.

"The consultation period is very short, just 3 weeks, extending from May 20th to June 10th.

"There are no consultation events planned due to the lockdown. Many residents, especially in the South Ham area, are pensioners directly affected by the access road, who can't get online and are self-isolating. Royal Mail services have been suffering due to the virus and deliveries have been subject to intermittent delays of anything up to 10 days, which could mean anyone posting their letter off now will be deemed 'too late'.

"Therefore I have asked Hampshire County Council if the consultation can be extended, at least until the end of the month, in order to give residents a reasonable chance to respond."

The main change in the plans involve pedestrian activity around the junction. The central area of the roundabout will be reprofiled, which HCC say will make it easier to access the pedestrian crossings on the roundabout.

The initial proposals allowed for the existing subways under the road to remain, however, HCC say that these were "too complex and costly to retain". Instead, a series of pedestrian crossings will be installed at the traffic lights on each of the six roundabout arms.

Meanwhile, Cllr Watts added: "We are disgusted that HCC has now back-tracked on the agreement to continue with subways at the roundabout.

"During last summer we held several meetings with HCC and they assured us that the keeping of the subways was a viable option. The plans that we agreed with did include the subways.

"I have made enquiries with HCC and Borough Council Officers over the winter period regarding the delay of this application as the original timetable stated that this application should have been reviewed in February 2020. The response that I received from HCC stated that they were having technical issues with the gradient of one of the subways. This decision to remove the subways is going against local representation views and appears to be driven by funding.

"The presumption that the Camrose link road will improve the traffic flow through South Ham has not been proven. We believe that this will cause “rat running” through other areas of South Ham. This is the first time that we have seen a change of priority for entering this link road.

"It also states in the HCC consultation that the link road will support the proposed housing development for the Camrose site. Our views have been consistently against the over development of the site (flatted accommodation). Personally, I have objected to the two outline planning applications for this site and my views have not changed."

Brighton Hill roundabout is a crucial part of the transport infrastructure in the town, with traffic between the town centre and the M3 passing through it. In addition, the A30 corridor serves the communities of Beggarwood, Hatch Warren, Kempshott, Brighton Hill and South Ham, with roads from Oakley, Viables and Kings Furlong convening at the intersection.

The roundabout also has a number of retail amenities close to it, including Pizza Express, Homebase, a petrol station, Hobbycraft, St Michael's Retail Park and Brighton Hill Retail Park, in addition to the facilities at Brighton Hill Centre.

The traffic using the pinch point is forecast to increase in the future, with 2,000 homes planned along the A30 and 3,500 at Manydown.

Cllr Regan added: "I have responded to HCC’s current public consultation and all of us South Ham Councillors objected.

"We would like Basingstoke football team to continue playing at the Camrose site but in the current circumstances where the ex Chairman owns 71 per cent of the site and also owns the covenant, this would seem extremely unlikely."

And Cllr Taylor said: "The alternative is for the consultation to be deferred until after the lock down, since the work will not be starting any time soon".

To have your say on the scheme, go to The consultation will close on Wednesday, June 10.