Plans to improve safety at a notorious accident blackspot between Hartley Wintney and Yateley went on public display last week.
As a result of nearly 20 accidents in the last 25 years, Hampshire County Council is looking to build a new roundabout, realign a junction and ban vehicles from turning right in a bid to reduce speed along the A30 at Hartford Bridge Flats.
Drawings of the £2.5 million project, split into two phases, went on display at St John’s Church in Hartley Wintney last Friday (June 20).
Graham Wright, delivery transport manager at the council, said: “The speed is very fast and we need to do something to slow the traffic down.
“We will be narrowing the carriageway slightly to get people to drive more slowly. In the mornings there are heavy queues so the roundabout will break that up.”
The council was awarded £1.5 million from the Government’s pinch point fund at the end of last year to go towards the project.
The initial phase will see the introduction of a three-arm roundabout at the priority junction of the A30 with the A327, realignment of the existing roundabout junction at Blackbushe Airport and the banning of a right turn into and out of Blackbushes Road from the A30.
The roundabout has been designed to accommodate a fourth arm serving Blackbushes Road to permit future provision of a second phase of the improvement with minimal additional work.
Steve Woodward, leader of the safety engineering team, said roundabouts were proven to reduce the number of accidents on roads.
“We have had a high number of accidents for about 25 years including two serious high profile motorbike accidents causing serious injury,” he said.
“We put in anti-skid surfacing and vehicle activated signs to slow down traffic. Accidents will reduce for a period of time and then creep up again.”
The A30 is an old dual carriageway, used before the M3 was built, and has since been converted into an A road.
David Wilson, strategic transport manager, said: “The project was initially set up as a result of the number of accidents that have happened at the junction. Then we received money from the Government.
“We expect the first phase to be completed by March 2015 and the second phase later, subject to planning permission.”
One Hartley Wintney resident at last week’s exhibition, who wished to remain anonymous, thought the presentation was ‘incomplete’.
“There is nothing about the current speed limits and I would like to see some kind of strategic context,” he said. “The changes might have an impact on other roads.
“It seems silly having to do a U-turn. It is admin nonsense and it could be avoided if it means waiting a bit longer until the second phase is ready.”
County councillor David Simpson, who represents Yateley and Hartley Wintney, said: “Everyone I have spoken to all believe it should be a four-arm roundabout.
“Hopefully construction for this roundabout will follow quickly after the first phase.
“Around 2,000 cars use that road every day and are going to have to do a U-turn until the roundabout is built. Clearly that is not fun.”
The council is accepting comments on the plans until July 12. To submit a comment, visit www3.hants.gov.uk.