I rise to present this petition, which, with over 3,000 signatures, clearly demonstrates the strength of opposition to proposals for two separate motorway service areas in Basingstoke, at junction 6 and at a site near Hatch Warren next to junction 7. If both were to go ahead, this would mean four service station areas within a 23-mile stretch of the M3. I would like to thank local councillors who have campaigned tirelessly in their communities to raise awareness of the issue—in particular, Councillor Terri Reid in Hatch Warren and Beggarwood and Councillor Onnalee Cubitt in Basing ward.
The proposed motorway service areas cause huge concern. Residents in Hatch Warren are worried about the potential encroachment on their residential area from a proposed new motorway flyover to access the services on the opposite side of the motorway, and Thames Water has warned of the risk of sewage flooding resulting from the proposals currently being considered for junction 6. This proposal would also cause real road safety concerns, unnecessarily creating tailbacks on the M3, which in the past have led to road traffic accidents and tragically, the loss of life.
The petition states:
The petition of residents of Basingstoke,
Declares that urgent action must be taken concerning proposals for new Motorway Service Areas at Basingstoke; further that there is no need for any additional motorway service areas given that the existing services at Fleet and Winchester are only 23 miles apart; further that the development of any new facilities will be detrimental to the environment and traffic congestion; further that they are clearly not in the best interests of Basingstoke residents; and further that the two proposals that have been made to date, one at Junction 6 and one near Junction 7 are not acceptable.
The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges HM Government to ensure road safety and the avoidance of traffic congestion are given priority over any unnecessary new motorway service areas around Basingstoke; and further urges the Department for Transport to reinstate the requirement for there to be a minimum distance between motorway service areas.
And the petitioners remain, etc.