HAMPSHIRE County Council is urging motorists to avoid cutting through the Asda car park to by-pass road works on Brighton Way.

Deputy leader Cllr Rob Humby has spoken out after The Gazette reported how the headteacher of one school has received abuse whilst allowing pupils to cross safely.

Chris Edwards was forced to come to an agreement with Asda to close the road that links the two ends of the car park for 40 minutes in the morning and afternoon, after a number of motorists decided to use it to by-pass the works, avoiding the signed diversion.

He said that the volume and speed of traffic posed a danger to the 960 pupils that were filtering in and out of the school in just a 30 minute period.

Now, HCC have urged motorists to stick to the official diversion "to ensure the safety of all pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers".

Basingstoke Gazette:

Cllr Rob Humby, deputy leader, told The Gazette: "There is a signed diversion in place while SGN carry out gas main replacement works in Quilter Road, and I would urge all drivers to use this to ensure the safety of all pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers.

"We will, however, ask SGN to review their signage to discourage the use of the supermarket car park."

Brighton Way has been closed between the two mini roundabouts at Chopin Road and Sullivan Road since last Monday (November 16) whilst gas works take place.

The official diversion takes motorists along Brighton Way to Brighton Hill roundabout, along The Harrow Way, on Hatch Warren Way, and back up Brighton Way.

It avoids the narrow Sullivan Road, and the Asda car park.

But after Mr Edwards observed traffic using the private car park as a cut-through and endangering the safety of his pupils, he came to an agreement with the supermarket giant to close the road at the zebra crossing for 40 minutes in the morning and again in the afternoon.

Its purpose is to allow for schoolchildren to safely enter and leave the premesis, which they are having to do in staggered blocks because of Covid rules.

But Mr Edwards has reported some motorists verbally abusing him and his staff, demanding that they be let through the closure.

"It is a bit demoralising," he told The Gazette, "especially now when people realise what is going on in schools and people aren't able to make the smallest of sacrifices.

"The vast majority have been absolutely brilliant and supportive. All of our parents have been lovely but the message would be that we didn't ask for the road works, we are just trying to keep our children safe, if they can support us we can all have a merry lead up to Christmas."

Mr Edwards said that every time he goes out to close the road, there is at least one person openly abusive and three or four that demand the barriers are removed for them to get through.

Excuses offered up by motorists include having frozen shopping in the car, the satnav taking them through the car park, asking whether he has the power to close the road and those complaining that the 6-minute trip around the blockage actually takes 30 minutes.

He said that one person told him: "I'm not here to run children over, I'm just here to cut through."

And he revealed that before they were given barriers, one motorist drove at him whilst he was standing in the road.

"It is annoying, but there is a bigger picture here. Just drive around."