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Fareham is built on the A27 and A32, both historic turnpike routes. Several hotels now exist as former coaching inns. Both these roads are wide and would have allowed for three rows of on-street parking. In the 1910s there was also a tramway running from the railway station to the west of the town, to Gosport, along the A32. The split at the bottom of the High Street was once a key market point.
With growing car dependence, delivery lorries increasing in size and frequency and more people trying to access the town centre on foot, in the 1970s the town's road network changed significantly. By now sections of the A27 and A32 on the outskirts of the town were already being dualled, and the M27 was being planned. The first major change was the A27 being moved on to Western and Eastern Way to bypass the town centre, allowing the centremost section of West Street to be pedestrianised, although this didn't happen for several years. The A32 along Quay Street was narrow and consequently diverted on to the new bypass via East Street, although this actually created a much longer route. This was probably done in anticipation of a future bypass for the A32.
The opening of Fareham Shopping Centre, the first phase of which was in 1975, was a key development in the transport history; firstly because it took over many local roads which connected to West Street, restricting traffic flow. The second reason is because it was the first of its kind in Hampshire and it generated a lot of interest. The two multi-storey car parks (Osborn Road and Civic Way) could not be accessed from the new dual carriageways, resulting in congestion. The importance of the development can still be seen in the entrance to the Osborn Road Car Park, which is much wider than the road it fronts on to. The car park itself is much larger than today's demand requires. The Civic Way car park has since been re-built, but evidence that these were once the main focal points in the town can still be seen in the road layouts leading up to them (including the strange TOTSO on the High Street and unnecessary queueing lane on Osborn Road).
Around this time a one-way system was introduced around Trinity Street to increase the capacity of the remaining town centre streets and also reduce the number of people taking shortcuts through the town centre.
The completion of the shopping centre in 1981 coincided with the opening of the A32 Wallington Way, which moved the A32 away from the High Street, and also allowed for more industrial development around Wallington. It didn't actually reduce shopping centre congestion (the opening of rival shopping centres in Portsmouth and Southampton did that), but it took some of the movements out of the town centre.
Meanwhile, by the time the shopping centre had been completed, the town centre had been pedestrianised. This required the closure of Portland Street - built in the 1920s to open up a commercial and housing area between West Street and Gosport Road. Initially, the road was made one-way, with Hartlands Road now taking the bulk of traffic and keeping it away from the shopping precinct. Buildings in Portland Street were demolished to make way for car parking, and by 1989 the majority of the road was closed, and could only be used to access car parks. The southernmost end of the road - which only serves to connect to Hartlands Road - was dualled and only a few buildings survive.
With this, the bus station also had to move from West Street to an area formerly occupied by Portland Street, although for years it only had terrapin huts. This was improved as part of further car park improvements in 2005, when this area was re-developed and the original alignment of Portland Street was lost completely under a retail development, although Harper Way now takes a similar route.
Further town centre assessments have identified traffic problems but proposed few changes. Various plans have been made to further pedestrianise the town centre and close several roads. Making Trinity Street two-way has also been suggested. The majority of the town's future plans focus on future housing development, particularly the realignment of the A32 so that it crosses the M27 at J11 rather than J10. The road under J10 would then be opened to buses only, the spirit of many of the town's plans.
Fareham is currently the centrepiece of Hampshire County Council's bus rapid transit scheme, so bus priority is set to feature in many of the plans.
|The WEST, Southampton|
|Portsmouth, Brighton||Final access via M275|
|Image||Name||Classified Road(s)||Grid Reference||More Info||Map|
|Condor Avenue Roundabout||A27||SU598059|
|Delme Roundabout||A27, A32||SU585063|
|Lower Quay Roundabout||A32||SU577056|
|North Hill Interchange||M27, A32||SU575078|
|Quay Street Roundabout||A27, A32||SU578060|
|Wallington Interchange||M27, A27||SU592071|
|Wickham Road Roundabout||A32||SU581067|