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Minister unveils £7m junction upgrades to ease M27 tailbacks
10:35am Friday 12th October 2012 in News
MILLIONS of pounds are to be spent improving bottleneck junctions on the M27.
The Highways Agency work, focusing on junctions three and five, will be completed by 2015.
Ministers said they would help bring more than 12,000 new jobs and 7,000 new homes to the area.
They are among 57 projects worth £170m announced on Monday by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham.
At junction three, the westbound exit slip road will be widened to reduce congestion, meaning there are four lanes on all sections of the carriageway.
Traffic lights will be added for traffic joining the roundabout from the M271, meaning there are signals on all arms of the junction.
Caroline Nokes,MP for Romsey and Southampton North, said the improvements would discourage drivers from using nearby Lee Lane as a cut-through.
She said there were currently “very long queues” at the roundabout at busy times. She added: “A dedicated left turn lane should alleviate that hugely. This is very significant for people travelling from Romsey to Southampton.”
Work on the troublesome Junction 5, would tackle the problem of traffic queuing back to Eastleigh and the airport.
The Highways Agency said £4.9m would be spent widening approach roads and slip roads.
A segregated left-turn lane will be created on to the eastbound carriageway. The work will start in 2014 and finish the following year.
Nick Farthing, who chairs the planning and transport committee for Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “We have been arguing for this sort of stuff to happen for a long, long time.”
The chamber had been working with local councils for a number of years to push for improvements to junction five, he said. He added: “The fact that it is happening now is really good news. It means easier access to markets, easier access for people to get to work, stations and the airport and less congestion.
“Hopefully it will give people confidence to invest in the area.”
Ministers said the £2m project, starting in 2014 and ending in 2015, would support the Adanac Park development, enterprise zone at HMS Daedalus, and Southampton Port.
Improvements costing £400,000 will be made next year to junction 9 of the M3 at Winchester, with better signage and lane markings.
Mr McLoughlin said: “Keeping traffic moving is vital to securing prosperity. By removing bottlenecks and improving access to local enterprise zones, key international trading ports and communities, these road schemes will help get people to and from work and power the economy.”
* Junction 3, M27 Cost: £2m Widening westbound slip road, traffic lights added Work starts in 2014 and finishes 2015 * Junction 5, M27 Cost: £4.9m Widening slip roads, segregated left turn lane going eastbound.
Work starts in 2014 and finishes 2015 * Junction 9, M3/A34 Cost: £400,000 Improvements to signage and lane markings.
Work starts and finishes next year.