Paultons Park at Ower ditches £2.5m plan for new road and roundabout to improve traffic congestion
A £2.5M traffic scheme to solve congestion during peak times at Paultons Park has been scrapped.
Managing director Richard Mancey had unveiled the plans last year, aiming to prevent traffic which he said had become "unacceptable" for residents, with roads frequently gridlocked in busy periods.
But now a spokesperson for the park has confirmed to the A&T the idea is no longer being taken forward, with smaller-scale changes being made instead.
They said: "After consultation with Hampshire Highways, careful monitoring of traffic throughout 2022, and making improvements to the car park entrance and exit, Paultons Park have decided to put the project on hold for the foreseeable future."
The original scheme included a new roundabout on the A36 at Ower with an exit to a new entry point solely for the theme park, which would cross land it already owned.
Copythorne Parish Council's clerk, David Rigby, said the park had informed the council of its decision.
He added: "As a result of the traffic problems that occurred over the summer of 2021 – following the impact of the relaxation of Covid restrictions and extensive roadworks on the A35 bridge over the River Test at Redbridge – steps were taken by Paultons Park to improve entry in to the park.
"The changes made resulted in improvements during the summer of 2022.
"The parish council hopes that traffic issues around the park will not be seen again this summer [and] will continue to maintain a dialogue with the park’s management for the benefit of local residents."
A public consultation was held last March for views on the plan, which was deigned to improve traffic flow and safety as well as easing congestion.
Speaking at the time, Mr Mancey said: "A change to the road infrastructure around our site is a required need by local residents and something that we have many conversations with local councillors about too."
The award-winning theme park, which opened in 1983, covers 140 acres and has more than 70 rides and attractions, including the UK exclusive and world first Peppa Pig World.