Winchester Bottleneck: PM’s Personal Seal Of Approval?
Posted by Andy Goddard
Posted in News
On the infamous bottleneck; by Winchester Today’s Editor Kevin Gover
On a morning that saw the Stonehenge Tunnel Question raised yet again – that’s to say we have been there before with more questions than answers – comes travel news a bit nearer to Winchester that might actually see the light of day.
MP Steve Brine welcomed major investment in a number of local road schemes announced ahead of the Autumn Statement.
The MP has been told by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin that Junction 9 of the M3 at Winnall will be part of a £30m investment package for the A34 to secure what is a crucial freight link from the Midlands to Southampton.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Steve said it’s fantastic news for both the region and the country:
“Junction 9 sits on a major trade route to the south coast, including for our vital car industry heading out of the Black Country to the ports.
“But it is also brilliant news for Winchester, and my constituents in Winnall especially, who suffer gridlock congestion which stretches far and wide as soon as things clog up on the M3. I know they, and the business based on the Winnall Trading Estate, will be really pleased to hear this news.
“The Prime Minister came to Winchester this summer and got stuck in traffic at M3 which, while not part of the campaign I have waged since my election, was certainly my opportunity to put it on his radar and I’m delighted we’ve got this announcement today.
“I look forward to examining the scheme in detail and making sure we get it right, including safeguarding the national cycle route which passes through the junction, as detailed plans are worked up.”
Junction 9 received £400,000 of funding earlier in this Parliament which Steve welcomed to ease congestion – but said must be “part one of something we need that is much more comprehensive.”
The announcement also includes work at the M3 junction 10 to junction 11 (Winchester south) which will see improvements for merging traffic to include so-called ‘smart motorways’, lane widening and realignment to smooth flow of traffic onto the motorway.
In addition it will see investment at junction 14 of the M3 (the M27 interchange) to junction 12 (Eastleigh) on northbound carriageway to improve capacity through the junction.