HART and Hampshire county councils are locked in combat this week over the unloved traffic calming measures in Elvetham Road, Fleet, as well as the further county proposals for obstructing Fleet town centre.

On Monday night the Hampshire Highways Hart Panel told the county that it should monitor and review the chicanes system in Elvetham Road. But county officials who attended the meeting said they believed no change was necessary despite the local uproar that saw county councillor John Stocks lose his Hart Council seat in May. He still sits as Fleet's Hampshire CC representative.

On the other side was Hart's Coun. Sean Holden, who failed to persuade the panel that all of the obstructions should immediately be removed.

The "think again" motion came from Coun. Peter Carr, who told the Star that while it was accepted that the present scheme had not worked, something was necessary to control traffic speeds, particularly because elderly people were now using Elvetham Road to visit the doctors' surgery.

"My own solution would be to install traffic lights at the junction with Church Road," he added.

Meanwhile a memo from county environment supremo Coun. Keith Estlin to Hampshire leader, Coun. Ken Thornber, reveals that the leader suffered "a barrage of complaints" when he attended an informal meeting with Hart councillors.

Coun. Estlin told Coun. Thornber: "Despite an extremely great effort on behalf of the county council, it appears that the district council's position on Fleet town centre is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the Department of Transport and with that of our own."

Hart Leader Coun. Robert Benford said Hart had asked for the meeting with the county leader because "everything the county's highway people do in Hart is greeted with dismay and derision."

He said Coun. Thornber had been told that if Hampshire wanted its Conservative colleagues on Hart to be re-elected it had to either sell its schemes to the public or change them.

"They have not convinced me and I don't think they have convinced anybody in Fleet," he said. "If they cannot convince the public that the schemes are for their benefit, then they should not be doing them."