The Hampshire County Council Countryside Service is undertaking 3 phases of works to secure and improve the extremely popular footpath that runs along the River Hamble – Fareham 3a (Hamble Causeway). Walkers will be aware that there are some structural and public safety issues affecting the path, which means that it critical that we move forward with the works.
Phase 1 (Universal Marina to Crableck Lane) was completed last Autumn. I have flagged a number of issues on this section and at the same time as undertaking the phase 2 works the contractors will also undertake the repair work required on phase 1 following the winter storms.
Phase 2 (Crableck Lane to Chinese Bridge) was due to start in April but was put on hold whilst the contractors were furloughed. They are now able to start works on the path on Monday 13th July. The works are planned to be substantially completed prior to the start of the summer holidays (24th July) but may last until the end of the month. The works include installation of rock rolls, bank repair works, a small amount of path surfacing where the path has been eroded away and some bank works adjacent to the Chinese Bridge and the bridge on Footpath 3b where the water is starting to scour out the bank and overtop the path.
The path will be subject to a closure for the standard 6 months which includes the period of works (13th July – 31st July) and some time to undertake any snagging issues, which may involve occasional closures over the coming months but these will be kept to a minimum. The assent for the works from Natural England extends only until 30th September (as works are likely to disturb the overwintering birds) so the service is limited in the timings of the work. Closures will only happen when necessary, not for the entire 6 months.
The Council has written to as many affected landowners as it is aware of and has posted some informal notices on site. The official ‘closure notice’ will go up on 6th July, with the closure notice proper going up on the 13th.
The contractors are aware that the path is very busy and their work programme and H&S requirements include this as a consideration.
Phase 3 – Chinese Bridge to Pink Ferry terminal has received external funding and is due to be implemented in 2021 and will include the creation of a circular route.