PLANS to spend half a million pounds upgrading parts of the top of the town just past the Upper High Street have been criticised by county councillor Tony Hooke.

Councillor Hooke says other parts of the town such as the lower High Street, London Street and Bridge Street need more urgent attention.

The county’s proposals for the area from Newbury Street through to Chantry Street, which have been developed in consultation with Test Valley Borough Council, are to improve pavement and road surfacing and formalise crossing points for pedestrians. They also want to raise the road level to encourage traffic to slow down, to discourage unnecessary through traffic and make the area more attractive for its users whilst maintaining provision for delivery vehicles and access to business and residential premises.

A borough council spokesman said: “The scheme has been the subject of public consultation.

This included an exhibition of the plans in October last year as well as details appearing at the Summit Success event at the end of last year.”

But Tony Hooke said: “They are planning to spend £530,000 but it is at the wrong end of town.”

Much of the money is coming from developer contributions plus £105,000 paid in fines levied on lorries using restricted routes.