Emsworth has only two routes joining its southern and northern areas. One, the path through the A27 underpass from Washington Road to the Recreation Ground is heavily used by parents and children wishing to reach St James Primary School or Emsworth Primary School. It is also a safe alternative for cyclists who aren’t prepared to use North Street, with its heavy traffic and dangerous railway bridge. The subway floods after heavy rain; it was badly designed to begin with, but flooding is likely to be more and more frequent as the climate changes. Apart from the flooding, the subway is poorly lit, graffitied and vandalised.
ERF will continue the efforts of the Emsworth Forum to raise the ‘profile’ of this crucial link with Havant Borough Council and Hampshire County Council. The recent planning consent for 44 new dwellings on the Coldharbour Farm site raises a new issue, as the vehicle access crosses the existing path to the Recreation Ground. It runs counter to a key policy objective of the Neighbourhood Plan to improve north-south connectivity. ERF will press for the safest possible crossing to be provided along with appropriate investment in the Active Travel route via Washington Road through s106 or CIL contributions from the developer.