BASINGSTOKE’S MP has said the bus company for Basingstoke is already planning extra services for a new hospital, despite the location for the new build not yet officially decided.

In a video posted to her social media, Maria Miller said she has invited some residents to meet local transport providers to hear how “patients and visitors and staff will actually get to the new hospital”, adding: “Stagecoach is already planning extra services for the new hospital and the new houses in that area.”

However, the location for the proposed new hospital has not yet officially been decided and it won’t open for another eight years until 2032, after the scheme was one of those delayed as part of the Government’s New Hospital Programme.

READ MORE: Minister reveals plans for new hospital at J7 of M3 

Hampshire Together ended a consultation on its plans for a new hospital for the town on March 17, putting forward three possible options two of which would see a new hospital built at land near Junction 7 of the M3 and one in which it would be built at the current site of Basingstoke hospital in Aldermaston Road.

Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (HHFT) has said its preferred site is land at Junction 7 of the M3.

Dame Maria said: “The local NHS want our new hospital to be at Junction 7 of the M3 because there’s space there and the ambulance service say that location saves more lives because it’s closer to the motorway network.”

She added: “Reliable transport to the new hospital for Basingstoke is really important for staff, patients and their families - it was great to meet with local transport providers and residents to discuss these transport plans.”

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The MP said health minister Nick Markham confirmed at a meeting in Basingstoke last week that plans are underway to acquire the site at Junction 7 and that £9m funding had been given to HHFT for this preparatory work to prepare “final plans and designs”.

Hampshire Together said an independent research company will collate and analyse the responses received from the public consultation before developing a consultation report, due to be published later in the year.

A ‘decision making business case’ will then be developed, which will set out how the NHS has further refined the proposals.

A decision on how to proceed is also expected later in the year.

Stagecoach has been asked for further information on its plans for services to a proposed new hospital site and new homes in this area such as Hounsome Fields, which currently do not have a bus service running in the area.