Commuters have vented their frustration after newly released figures showed number of collisions causing injuries along a much-criticised stretch of the M27 has increased on average since it was expanded from three to four lanes.
In 2008 the route between J11 and J12 near Portsmouth was expanded to reduce congestion and make driving safer. However, Freedom of Information figures obtained by Hampshire Constabulary show that on average, there have been more major collisions since the change was made to both sides.
From January 1, 2000 to August 31, 2008 there were 157 collisions with injuries reported - an average of about 18 a year. Between September 1, 2008 and May 31, 2016 there were 163 collisions reported, increasing the average to 21 a year. The highest amount of injury collisions reported on the road was in 2012 with 30.
During the last 16 years there has also been four fatal collisions on the route, in 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2013 - just one since the road was upgraded.
Reader’s took to The News Facebook Page to vent their frustrations with the four-lane section, labelling it unsafe while also blaming poor driver behaviour.
Gareth Jones said: ‘It’s an absolute shambles. Too many cars and vans using the fourth lane as a race track, then cutting in last minute without any thought for the car and van they just cut up.’
Richard Taylor said: ‘A poorly thought out and designed piece of highway.’
Many suggested that the fourth and fastest lane should not merge into lane three.
Kath Hooker said: ‘It was a stupid design. Regardless of how many signs and warnings, to have a lane on the outside of a high speed road, that just suddenly stops was silly. It would have made more sense to have a lane on the left that could accommodate and filter all of the queuing traffic for the Fareham and Gosport junction.’
A spokesman for Highways England, who bought in the scheme, said: ‘The improvements between junctions 11 and 12 have reduced congestion and improved journeys for the 120,000 daily.
‘Safety is Highways England’s top priority and we remain committed to reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads. We will continue to keep safety under review, working with partners such as the police, to understand what can be done to improve safety.’