Plans for major changes to the junction between the M3 and A34 have gone on show.
Highways England has launched an eight-week consultation on the plans, which will create a new free flow link to help improve congestion.
It means the Winchester junction, where the M3 and A34 interchange, will be redesigned to create dedicated free flow lanes which will allow drivers to travel freely between the two roads – avoiding the junction roundabout.
The roundabout will be redesigned into a new ‘dumbbell’ layout which the agency say will help increase capacity and improve journey times.
The consultation will run for eight weeks until August 27.
Highways England senior project manager Neil Andrew said: ‘More than 6,000 vehicles use this junction each hour during peak times and making the junction free flow will stop queues backing up onto the main carriageway and reduce the risk of collisions.
‘Not only will the improvements help to separate local and long-distance traffic, we are also improving access for pedestrians, cyclists and equestrians.’
Improvements also include widening the M3 from two to four lanes between the new free-flow links to the A34 and the south-facing roundabout.
New subways will also be created through the junction to create a new route for pedestrians and cyclists between the South Downs National Park, Winnall and Abbots Worthy.
Councillor Rob Humby, deputy leader of Hampshire County Council, said: ‘Securing Improvements for this critical junction has been a top priority for the County Council for a number of years, and we are very pleased that Highways England’s proposals are now published for consultation.
‘This is a critical junction on the national road network as well as locally, and the planned improvements, will help to separate strategic and more local traffic at Junction 9, as well as improving facilities for cyclists and pedestrians.’
Six public information events will be held in Winchester and Kings Worthy – for more information go to the Highways England website.