Go-ahead given for £22.2m revamp of ‘congested’ M27 junction near Whiteley
QUEUES are expected to be a thing of the past for many Hampshire commuters as plans for a £22.2 million upgrade of a major motorway junction were given the go-ahead – despite land around the site still needing to be acquired.
The county council’s transport boss Councillor Rob Humby signed off on the proposals tonight, which includes constructing additional lanes on both ‘on-slip’ roads and roundabout at junction 9 of the M27, for Whiteley. The west-bound ‘off-slip’ road will also be partially widened.
As part of the plans, Whiteley Way will also be widened, as will the Parkway South roundabout – which will also get a complete operational rework, along with traffic lights.
Civic chiefs say the scheme is ‘essential’ to improve traffic flow in the area, as well as reducing journey times due to the ‘severe congestion’ experienced by motorists.
They add the congestion is ‘detrimentally impacting’ local business.
However, the plans are subject to the council acquiring land around the proposed site, which will by civic chiefs at cabinet and full council meetings next month.
Backed and funded by Highways England, the scheme is expected to cost £22,230,000, with £13,656,000 coming from the government department.
Stuart Jarvis, director of economy, transport and environment, said: ‘The M27 is a critical, strategic corridor in southern Hampshire which helps to keep the economy moving. But, at peak times, queues caused by congestion at junction 9 can extend back several kilometres along the motorway.
‘The scheme is essential to improve traffic flow and journey times in the area. Both junctions currently experience severe congestion in the morning and evening peak periods. Traffic queuing on the motorway [slip roads] at junction 9 also causes operational and safety issues on the motorway.
‘Furthermore, in the morning peak hour, congestion at Parkway South Roundabout can regularly block back to junction 9, while in the evening peak hour congestion at junction 9 frequently blocks back to Parkway South Roundabout.’
He added: ‘The scheme, developed by the county council, will provide a significant increase in traffic capacity at both junctions, which forecasts suggest will be sufficient to alleviate the existing congestion issues and provide spare capacity to accommodate traffic associated with future developments.’
It’s not yet known when work will start, but off-peak daytime and nighttime closures will come into effect.
Cllr Humby said: ‘It’s really pleasing to see how the highways authority, the local planning authority, Highways England and the Solent LEP have worked closely together to make sure the necessary transport infrastructure is in place to support this long planned major development at North Whiteley.
‘This has been many years in the planning, and, while final decisions are still subject to capital funding agreements and land requirements to be determined at the county council’s cabinet and council meetings next month, I believe this is could be a first for Hampshire County Council delivering a major motorway junction improvement on behalf of Highways England.
‘The proposed works are also fully co-ordinated with the planned smart motorway programme due to be taking place on the M27 later this year.’