Drivers facing 14 months of roadworks misery as part of £5.2million electricity project

HAMPSHIRE residents are set to face 14 months of roads misery and traffic disruption during a £5.2m project aimed at upgrading electricity cables.

The Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) scheme will see 12km of new underground cable installed, as well as work to upgrade substations in and around Eastleigh.

The project has already seen road closures, diversions and traffic lights in place in several areas across Eastleigh, Botley, West End and Fair Oak during the next year.

Tyrone Cowley, SSEN’s project manager, said that the project will go a long way to making the local electricity network more robust and resilient.

He added: “There will be an element of unavoidable disruption, however I would like to assure the local community and commuters that we have worked with the local council to keep this to a minimum, and thank everyone in advance for their patience as we go about our essential work.”

Among the roads that will be affected there are Allington Lane, Bubb Lane and Botley Road in West End, Fir Tree Lane and Burnetts Lane in Horton Heath and several roads in Eastleigh including Derby Road, Passfield Road, Flemming Park and Monks Brook Crossing, Nightingdale Avenue and Chestnut Avenue.

Deborah Day, 54, from West End, who runs the Gleneagles Riding School in Allington Lane, was concerned about the impact the scheme will have on residents and businesses.

“The fact that there’s going to be road closures and disruption across the whole borough would be a disaster,” she said. “It could affect our clients getting into our stables. There are lots of businesses on Allington Lane and disruption or road closures could affect businesses. It would be good to have a meeting with them so they can explain exactly what they are going to do.”

SSEN said residents will be informed and a traffic management plan has been agreed with highways bosses.

A spokesperson for Hampshire County Council said that as the highways authority it would seek to “minimise disruption to residents and to road users as far as possible, but where works require either road closures, lane restrictions or the implementation of a one way system, there will inevitably be some impact.”