Highways England has unveiled plans to transform junction 9 on the M3 at Winnall in Hampshire.
The organisation will now start a new public consultation after an initial consultation in 2019 provided some ‘important comments’.
These include the length available for vehicles to change lanes when joining the A34 from junction 9 and then heading on to the A33/Kings Worthy, the future traffic capacity of the proposed scheme and the length of time that the construction works would take, reports the Hampshire Chronicle.
Highways England senior project manager Jon Roose said: “Our new plans for the M3 at junction 9 will increase capacity, help reduce journey times and improve safety. We have taken feedback from the previous consultation into account and we’re looking forward to showing people these new designs and talking through the improvements.
“I would urge anyone interested in the scheme to visit our virtual exhibition to find out more about the proposals and feedback their thoughts to us. There are also various ways they can engage the team directly to ask questions or just find out more.”
If approved the scheme would include widening the junction to create four lanes each way, and new road and roundabout design to provide free-flow links between the M3 and A34 for those travelling between Newbury and Southampton. It would also see the rearranging of the main junction 9 roundabout with a new elongated design.
The scheme would incorporate three new bridges and a number of other structures, including an improved bridge over the River Itchen, and new underpasses, along with revised walking and cycling routes and improved motorway slip-roads.
Hampshire County Councillor, Rob Humby, added: “We welcome the improvements that Highways England has planned for junction 9 of the M3. This location is pivotal, both strategically and locally, to Winchester, and we look forward to working with them on the project as it progresses.”
Highways England has proposed a scheme of £110-£130 million, one of the biggest in Hampshire in decades, with a proposed start date of 2023-24. Junction 9 of the M3 connects south Hampshire with London, the Midlands and the North.
Roughly 6,000 vehicles an hour go through the junction during peak periods and it currently creates a bottleneck that causes significant delays. Traffic is particularly heavy between the M3 and the A34, with frequent queues on the northbound off-slip of the M3 which are a safety risk, said the report.