A LORRY park installed on a major Winchester route could cost county finances £1million if there is a no-deal Brexit.

The figure was revealed in a ‘Brexit Preparedness’ report due to go before Hampshire County Council’s cabinet next week.

Residents reacted furiously when given just a few days notice of the works on the A31 between Winchester and Alresford last month.

Hampshire Chronicle:

The report reveals: “Should full implementation of the A31 plan be required, the total cost, including triage services and six-weeks’ of running costs, would be an estimated £1m.”

It goes adds that should the lorry park be needed beyond an initial six weeks, “the additional running costs would be an estimated £70,000 per week”.

The lorry park, which the report says was completed ahead of schedule, was ordered after the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Resilience Forum, a group that works to prepare for emergencies, “identified a high risk of significant traffic congestion due to delays at Portsmouth International Port” in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The report added: “Delays at Portsmouth would cause lorry queues onto the M275, M27, A3(M) within a short timescale, impacting both local and strategic roads. In a reasonable worst-case scenario, disruption could last for up to six months.

“Traffic disruption and delays would impact road users (including residents, businesses, emergency and other public services), and affect the flow of exports and imports.”

Hampshire Chronicle:

The A31 lorry park would mitigate against that risk by “using a 5km section of the A31 between the Percy Hobbs roundabout (near Winchester) and the Ladycroft roundabout (near Alresford), including a triage point and the capacity to hold between 200 and 300 Heavy Goods Vehicles along the southbound carriageway, destined to the port travelling from the A34/M3 and A3”.

The report goes on to say county chiefs will be seeking reimbursement for the A31 costs from central government.

However, civic chiefs sparked fury last month over the lack of warning of the implementation of the lorry park, which meant Alresford residents heading towards Winchester faced a six-mile diversion to join the A31 at the same point due to the Ladycroft roundabout’s design.

One of those to hit out was Kristina Fearnley, of Alresford Road, who said: “Our family is already feeling the effects of this monstrous decision.

“There are a large number of residents and businesses between the Percy Hobbs and Ladycroft roundabouts that are affected and who have been given little or no time to prepare for these works.”

Responding to the fury, Winchester MP Steve Brine said: “For a start, the PM has confirmed Parliament will have to agree to our leaving the EU with no withdrawal agreement in place and I’m confident we won’t allow that.

Hampshire Chronicle:

“But on the A31 specifically, I am clear this work is the wrong response from the LRF, which is contrary to the modelling provided by the DfT (Department for Transport) around lorry movement from Portsmouth, should there be any interruption to the roll-on, roll-off process.

“But if, and they can answer why they’re doing this, they insisted on going ahead it’s unacceptable not to inform local residents and that goes for local councillors as much anyone else.”

Liberal Democrat Winchester city councillors have also slammed Mr Brine for being unaware of the works.

County and city councillor Jackie Porter: “It is extraordinary that we, and our MP, have only just heard about this panic proposal by the county to use the A31 in the case of a no-deal Brexit, just days before implementation. It’s a measure which will have a significant impact on the whole of Winchester, and Alresford in particular.”