A BYPASS set to be opened in 2025 will make village life far more peaceful, it has been promised.

Currently, people driving from between Hedge End and Wickham are have to travel through Botley.

But Hampshire County Council has been putting in the groundwork on a £32m bypass, which will run between Woodhouse Lane and the A3051.

Deputy council leader and executive member for economy, transport and environment, Cllr Rob Humby, said: ‘The Botley bypass will have a significant impact on the lives of people living in the village and I’m really pleased that we’re getting on with it.

‘It’s exciting to deliver a project of this size, knowing that it will make people’s lives so much better.

‘This bypass has been a long time coming.’

The goals of the scheme are to reduce traffic, improve air quality, cut down on noise and improve the village centre environment.

Construction of the first phase of bypass is being undertaken to widen Woodhouse Lane, and create an underpass towards the recently-finished Deer Park School.

This is taking place alongside the Uplands development – 980 new homes between Hedge End and Botley Fields.

Of the £32m for the project, £22m was put forward by Hampshire County Council, with the rest coming from developer contributions and Homes England.

Cllr Humby compared the scheme to the ongoing Stubbington bypass construction, which will link Gosport Road with Titchfield Road and is set to be completed in spring 2022.

He said: ‘Just like Stubbington, the Botley bypass is a really big scheme.

‘The goals are identical too – we want to divert traffic away from the village of Botley, not just for local residents but also to service the new school and help commuters.’

The first two phases of the project are due to be completed by the end of 2022. and it is hoped the bypass will be open for motorists in 2025.

But amid unprecedented inflationary costs in the construction sector – which stands at roughly 17 per cent – Cllr Humby concedes that the current £32m estimate could increase.

He said: ‘We understand the pressures all too well and will be keeping a close eye on our costs.’