Traffic bosses set sights on easing bus route queues

Transport Minister Paul Clark and First Hampshire and Dorset MD Richard Soper at the launch  of the  A3 bus corridor.
Transport Minister Paul Clark and First Hampshire and Dorset MD Richard Soper at the launch of the A3 bus corridor.
M27. Picture: Malcolm Wells

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LONG-running glitches with a £35m bus scheme are finally being tackled by the authorities – but community leaders say more still needs to be done.

An action plan has been drawn up by Hampshire County Council to tackle problems along the A3 Bus Priority Corridor, which was completed in 2008 to create a fast bus route between Clanfield and Portsmouth.

Confusing signage is being removed, junctions are being widened, and some parking restrictions lifted.

But people say more should be done to tackle congestion hotspots, such as the traffic jams seen every morning as cars try to leave London Road on to Dell Piece at Horndean.

Led by Cowplain county councillor David Keast, a review was started in June last year to tackle the glitches.

Among changes to emerge from the review are:

· removing about 70 confusing signs, including ambiguous signs about where cyclists should ride.

· removing ‘no parking’ restrictions at London Road, Waterlooville, and ‘no loading’ restrictions at 165 to 187 London Road, Cowplain.

· Adjusting signal timing at the junction of Padnell Road and Durley Avenue, Cowplain, during the morning rush-hour to aid traffic flow.

· Potential road widening next year at the junction of Park Lane and London Road, Cowplain.

· Installing audio signals for the blind at crossings, which was completed earlier this year.

But the vast majority of the 65 bus stops will not be moved, despite concerns there is not enough room for cars to overtake.

A report suggests that drivers are not inconvenienced by bus stops being close to traffic islands.

However, the shelter cage will be removed at Napier Road, Horndean, to help safety and a bus stop near the Hampshire Rose pub, Widley, may be moved further north.

Efforts to stop rat-running – such as in Milton Road, Waterlooville – are on hold until a county-wide 20mph pilot scheme is completed.

Complaints that the bus shelters are back-to-front will not be addressed.

This is because Havant Borough Council has a contractual agreement with Adshel to provide advertising space at the front of the bus shelter.

Cllr Keast said: ‘It’s a work in progress.

‘But a lot of the comments by residents are being noted and acted upon.

‘There are things I will be following up where I think we could do more, particularly with the traffic queues getting out of London Road into Dell Piece.’

David Pink, president of Waterlooville District Residents’ Association, said: ‘Anything they can do to improve it has got to be welcomed.’

Councillor Seán Woodward, who is in charge of transport in Hampshire, said: ‘The project continues to be under review by the county council’s environment and transport select committee, and this work has already resulted in several changes being made to traffic signals, road layouts, junctions

and bus stops along the corridor.

‘The county council values the feedback from residents and will continue to monitor the corridor and listen to views from the community and make changes where possible.’