PLANS to scrap the bulk of parking spaces in Fleet Road — used by more than 1,200 motorists each day — came under fire from scores of residents during a public exhibition.
Hampshire County Council wants to do away with the spaces to cut down on traffic using Fleet Road under revised £2.5million town centre traffic and environmental improvements.
But Cllr Denis Gotel has attacked the plan and drawn up a revised scheme which he displayed to interested members of the public in Fleet’s Harlington Centre on Saturday.
More than 100 people went along to view the proposals but Cllr Gotel, an Independent, said seven Hart Conservative councillors and three members of the Fleet Town Centre Management Group made sure they could not get a good look at them.
“Some 117 local residents braved the daunting ‘picket lines’ and had a squint at what was on view,” said Cllr Gotel.
“Unfortunately many of those visiting the Harlington Centre were somewhat confused and dumbfounded by what they were confronted with and left quietly, saying very little out loud but mumbling under their breath.”
Cllr Gotel was told he would not be able to hold another exhibition planned for the Hart Shopping Centre, so he made alternative arrangements.
“Not to be diverted from my aim that democracy should prevail, I took to the street to display the Hampshire County Council scheme and my amended proposal between 12.30 and 3pm on Monday.
“Here some 158 people were able to view the two schemes side by side, at ease, and ask questions as they wished,” said Cllr Gotel.
“Overall, I have to report that there remains a tremendous disenchantment among the people of Fleet with what Hampshire County Council is proposing.
“The great proportion of residents are clearly unconvinced that what is proposed by Hampshire County Council is a rightful use of the developer’s funds, which they were led to believe were earmarked for the completion of the Fleet Inner Relief Road.
“Many of the people viewing the display boards commented on the futility of spending money to slow down traffic that crawls along as it is, with a narrowing of the carriageway and raised tables at the junction.
“They were further incensed by the spending of funds on such things as gateway features, moving pelican crossings a few metres from where they currently are and treating privately owned passageways, going nowhere useful, as if they were in the public domain.
“All in all, not much support for a scheme mooted to be costing £2.75million.”