LONG-AWAITED plans to tackle congestion problems in one region of Hampshire have moved a step closer to reality.

For more than a decade there have been calls to create a bypass between the village of Stubbington, near Fareham, and the M27.

And Hampshire County Council’s new transport boss has announced he will put into motion plans that could see the Stubbington bypass finally become a reality.

Transport chiefs and a local MP also hope that a visit from the Secretary of State for Transport will help to secure Government funds for the project.

Thousands of motorists travelling in and out of Fareham and Gosport and the surrounding area currently face congestion chaos on a daily basis.

But mooted plans for a bypass had been put on hold until 2026 due to a lack of funding.

However, the county council’s new executive member for economy, transport and environment, Sean Woodward, says he will now commission new work to drive the project forward.

He says the first task of county officers will be to review and update technical work and then initial consultation will be carried out with residents.

Cllr Woodward, who is also leader of Fareham Borough Council, said: “It’s important that we work on proposals to bring forward scheme development so that we’re in a position to bid for Government funding at the earliest opportunity.

“I recognise that the development of a second strategic highway access to the Gosport peninsula remains vitally important to the area’s long-term economic prosperity and to improving the quality of life for local residents.

“I want us to work closely with the local community who are already experiencing the impact of traffic on the local highway network, and I will be considering proposals early next month for extending our planned consultation on the proposed Newgate Lane improvements to also consider initial ideas for a wider bypass for Stubbington.”

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage said she has secured a visit to the area from Transport Minister Patrick McLoughlin next month.