THE claims of Hampshire County Council that most of the residents around Fleet's Elvetham Road support the controversial traffic calming chicanes were demolished yesterday when Hart independent councillor Denis Gotel released the results of his survey.
Nearly 80 per cent of those who replied have called for all of the obstructions to be removed and local people report that, far from calming things, the air is now blue with road rage abuse.
Coun. Gotel was locked in talks with county officials yesterday (Wednesday). He hopes that the hitherto obdurate council will at the very least remove the worst of the chicanes before winter arrives. In the May elections he routed John Stocks, a supporter of the scheme, who lost his Hart Council seat, but remains on the county council as Fleet representative.
The questionnaires were posted to 400 households in the Elvetham Road locality. They also cast doubts on the Hampshire figures from the county's earlier survey in which they claimed 79 per cent support. Only 14 of the 26 who said they had written to the county earlier said they had backed the scheme.
Some 54 per cent of households replied in the latest survey. Of these a quarter wanted the Elvetham Road speed limit RAISED from 30 to 40 mph! Only one in ten wanted the present scheme to stay and 70 per cent believed it had failed in its primary aim of traffic calming. Said Coun. Gotel: "The combination of a badly designed scheme and the evident frustration and irritation of road users is viewed as a lethal cocktail."
He said there was pronounced support for less intrusive measures such as speed cameras and non-overtaking lines.
Those in favour claimed it had reduced the number of drivers using Elvetham Road as a rat run. But opponents said there had been more accidents as drivers were speeding between the chicanes in order to get past them before oncoming vehicles.